School bus routing and management software firm Transfinder named Kecia Ling the company's Ambassador of the year for leading Savannah-Chatham County Public Schools efforts to implement new transportation software and to overcome challenges from Hurricane Matthew.
Transfinder President and CEO Antonio Civitella recognized Ling at the company's Annual Client Summit last week in Austin, Texas for her diligence and individual story. Civitella commended Ling’s huge undertaking to learn the necessary software and route development within a limited period of time.
Savannah-Chatnam County decided in February of 2016 that it would not renew a contract for it’s third-party busing company to transport 26,000 students for this past school year, leaving Ling with the responsibility of assembling her in-district transportation team as well as learning and teaching Transfinder’s software system in time for summer school.
“Getting the routers accustomed to a new software was our biggest challenge, “ Ling said. "Transfinder really made it happen for us. They did a lot of the routing work themselves. We had 376 routes and with this software we’ve been able to cut down to 314 routes.”
Ling said she and her fellow employees worked 13-hour days for two months straight to prep for last summer and the fall semester.
Then, this past October, Hurricane Matthew struck the area, and Ling and Savannah-Chatnam school district used Transfinder to locate students, identify families in need of housing at emergency facilities and assess necessary routes for student transportation.
“They were in hotels, homeless shelters and living with different family members all over the town. We had to transport them from wherever they ended up to and from school,” said Andrea Wiggins, a router with Savannah-Chatham schools. “It was a whole lot easier with Transfinder.”
Over time, Ling and her team would master the Transfinder software and use it creatively to appease student needs with transportation.
Transfinder awarded Ling before 250 other school transportation officials from 36 states and two Canadian provinces in attendance at the Annual Client Summit.