Track My Route: Providing Special Education Transportation with Safety at Every Stop

Guest Blog by TMR Technologies

Technology in schools has continued to evolve in the past decade to improve the student experience in the classroom. Tablets, laptops, and smart devices have been crowding classrooms across the country, but school transportation has largely remained the same. TMR Technology is trying to bring school transportation up to speed with the rapidly improving technology available today.

TMR Technology provides schools K-12 with innovative software solutions to improve efficiency, convenience, and safety. Founded by a group of Indiana University students in 2017, we set out to solve a problem that each of us faced growing up; the trials and tribulations of taking the school bus. Our first solution, Track My Route, is a mobile application that tracks school buses for parents and students grades K-12. It uses real-time GPS tracking and provides a user-friendly mobile interface. The solution was created to help reduce both the morning rush atmosphere and the time that students are stuck waiting outside at the bus stop. Parents with busy schedules that rush to meet their child at the bus stop don’t have to guess when the bus will arrive, and school administrators can spend less time responding to calls from parents asking where the bus is.

School transportation for parents of special needs students can be an immense challenge. We take pride in helping special education programs overcome this challenge because that is where we got our start. Our Track My Route solution was first piloted in a special education cooperative in the Chicagoland area, and they are now our longest tenured customers. While working with the cooperative we were able to determine what our users needed from our solution for it to effectively improve their transportation experience. Most special education buses pull up directly to the students house instead of a stop nearby. TMR was able to take this into account to ensure our Track My Route solution can provide special education riders safety at every stop.

Cindy Lambrakis is the operations manager of special needs transportation at American School bus, and believes Track My Route can alleviate pain points that come with student transportation. "From an administrative perspective, Track My Route will help to alleviate the volume of calls that our dispatchers are inundated with on a daily basis. The drivers will be able to concentrate on driving and not radio chatter." She went on to discuss special needs transportation. "Structure is very important to a special needs child. Once a parent has put on that child's coat or safety vest, that child knows he or she is ready for the bus. When the bus is late, their routine was just stopped. This can negatively affect their behavior both on the bus and in the classroom. Track My Route will accurately let the parents know where that bus is, allowing the parent control on the timing of the coat/vest, ensuring everyone is ready for a great day. Planning for medication, bathroom breaks, doctors appointments, etc., is important to our parents. Tracking the bus times would be very valuable for the parents' management of these issues."

The cooperative fully implemented our solution to make it available to all of their student riders for the 2018-2019 school year. We are looking forward to providing them with their second year of Track My Route starting this fall and releasing several new updates for their users here soon. We are continuing to expand the user base of TMR within the Chicagoland area by adding Libertyville District 70, who will also be using Track My Route starting this fall semester. If you are interested in learning more about TMR Technology you can visit www.trackmyrouteapp.com or email info@tmrtechnology.com

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