The challenges of this global pandemic are leading to long-term improvements in education. In the wake of face masks, hand sanitizer, toilet paper shortages and social distancing, transportation technologies have evolved to provide off-campus connectivity, increased security, reduced operational expenses, and improved communications.
Various sources of funding have been introduced to cope with the increased spending on education during this global pandemic. The CARES Act and subsequent ESSER funds were designed to support COVID-19 response efforts and can be applied to a wide range of eligible expenses.
The Emergency Connectivity Fund, which is part of the US bailout, is aimed directly at providing off-campus connectivity for schools and libraries. These funds and others provide the capital needed for cost-effective and sustainable transportation technology solutions.
When COVID-19 surfaced and schools started closing in March 2020, we immediately faced another crisis: connectivity outside of school.
16.9 million students do not have the high-speed Internet access at home they need to fully participate in online learning.
– Jessica Rosenworcel, Interim President of FCC
The average commute for students in the United States is 1.5 hours per day, or nearly 8 hours per week. Students involved in sports or other extracurricular activities can accumulate an additional 3-6 hours on the bus each week.
The first wireless ConnectED bus connectivity The solution provides wi-fi on the bus, turning travel time into extended learning time. Students can complete homework, study for tests, and hand in homework during commuting or when traveling for extracurricular activities and field trips. Students learn time management skills and feel better prepared for the school day, which translates into better test scores and better student success.
Internet access on the bus also provides real-time access to on-board cameras and DVRs. Don’t wait for the buses to return to the bus depot to go through the tedious and laborious process of pulling the footage from the camera. In critical emergency situations, accessing the camera in real time can save you valuable time and save lives.
The ConnectED Bus Connectivity solution is powered by the Peplink MAX Transit Rugged CAT 18 router offering the fastest speeds, up to 1.2 Gbps, and is specially designed to withstand the dirt, vibration and extreme temperatures of school bus transportation.
The Wi-Fi bus is partitioned to provide bandwidth for student internet access as well as dedicated bandwidth to allow real-time camera access. Dedicated bandwidth for each goal keeps students busy and reduces the number of disruptive incidents on the bus, making bus drivers happier.
GPS and student tracking
Pedestrian crossing for ConnectED K-12 bus includes GPS, student tracking, routing, step-by-step instructions, and digital workflows. It allows you to manage your transportation service effortlessly from a desktop or mobile device.
GPS and routing functions provide real-time visibility to increase safety and improve operational efficiency. Monitor mileage, bus speeds, locations and stops for your entire fleet with updates every five seconds. Quickly change bus routes and send updates to your drivers in response to traffic or weather incidents. Easily create temporary or secondary routes to accommodate blended learning schedules.
Detailed audio instructions keep your drivers and students safe on the road. This hands-free solution ensures that replacements and new drivers are properly equipped to provide the safest possible transportation, even if the routes change at any time.
Student tracking streamlines attendance reporting and reduces incidents of “missing” children. Student names and photos are displayed on the screen to prevent students from getting on the wrong bus or being left at the wrong bus stop.
Digital records keep a history of date, time and location so that “missing” children can be located quickly and easily. A parent app is included to provide peace of mind and to help parents and students anticipate the arrival of the bus.
ConnectED Bus Crosswalk K-12 also provides a series of digital forms and workflows to improve operational efficiency. Field Travel Management allows you to create bus requests, route them for approval, and schedule them online.
Pre-trip and post-trip inspections ensure that drivers follow proper procedures for inspecting the bus before and after each route. Health and Sanitation Management provides easy-to-follow processes to protect your students and drivers from COVID-19 and other illnesses.
Submitting state and federal mandated reports is easy with the ConnectED Bus Crosswalk K-12. All historical data is stored in the cloud-based system to allow you to run reports quickly and painlessly as needed.
ConnectED bus communication improves information exchange between dispatchers, drivers, maintenance, emergency responders, district managers and the front office. Push-To-Talk (PTT) communication ensures the fastest and most reliable communication for daily operations and urgent information.
Each department within your district has different needs, and ConnectED Bus Communication has them all. PTT can be enabled on smart devices, both standard and ruggedized, to meet the usage requirements of each user group or individual. Bus drivers, in particular, need a vehicle mount and pocket mic to ensure compliance with state and federal laws.
ConnectED bus communication includes Mobile Device Management (MDM) to easily monitor and manage all your devices from a remote dashboard. In addition, MDM allows for greater compliance and better control of your data.
Dollars and $ vouchers
The funds currently available and planned for the future make the Bus ConnectED a cost-effective and sustainable solution. ConnectED Bus Connectivity is fundable until June 2022 with the $ 7.1 billion Emergency Connectivity Fund. ConnectED Bus Crosswalk K-12 and ConnectED Bus Communication can be financed with ESSER funds.
Contact us today to learn more about the ConnectED bus and how we can help you secure the financing you need for this cost effective and sustainable solution.