busHive has brought a variety of improvements to the transportation operation and bus garage at Socorro Consolidated Schools in New Mexico.
Director of Transportation Daniel Hicks, who used to work in the bus garage and still serves as the head mechanic, explained that the district started using busHive for a better way to handle fleet maintenance. busHive eliminated the need for whiteboards and notebooks by providing an electronic way to track necessary repairs and available inventory.
He’s able to add a history for each bus and the system sends maintenance notifications when needed. These can be programmed to predetermined standards based on mileage or time intervals. Hicks said he has all 20 of his buses as well as 30 fleet vehicles on it.
By 2017, Socorro was fully utilizing busHive’s software solutions for athletic and field trip management. Now, currently fully staffed with drivers for his operation that transports about 450 students daily, Hicks said that busHive is helping things run smoothly.
Setup included inputting route information and bus driver schedules so all necessary information is readily available. Changes can easily be made, such as updating a route to “inactive” status.
Hicks reported that busHive has allowed the transportation department to speed up the entire trip process, beginning with a faster turnaround on trip requests.
Rather than paper request forms, teachers and coaches now submit their requests online. Once trip details are received and input into busHive, the system saves time by looking up travel time and mileage. Bus driver hours are populated based on previously loaded driver information, and Hicks can then easily send an accurate quote.
“It’s just a matter of a few clicks and off it goes,” he relayed.
When it comes to scheduling, busHive’s dispatching features prevent double-booking of buses or drivers. The platform allows Hicks to handle timesheets electronically, which were previously done by hand. Now, what used to take up to three-quarters of a day takes 30 minutes.
busHive also helps maximize vehicle utilization. Scheduled buses cannot be booked for a conflicting athletic or field trip. If a route driver is assigned to the trip, the system reminds the scheduler that a substitute is needed. For convenience, Hicks can even print a trip schedule with the trip number, destination, bus number and assigned driver.
Once the trip is complete and information from the bus driver’s trip ticket is input into the system, busHive makes it easy to send invoices. Hicks can sort and pull trips based on a certain school or even break it down by recipient department. To make sure payments don’t go overdue or slip through the cracks, invoices from the past 30 or 60 days can be pulled. Hicks noted that he’s happy he no longer needs to take a whole day to calculate this by hand.
Hicks said he appreciates and fully utilizes the capabilities of busHive. “The more you input, the more it gives back,” he explained.
Overall, he said, “it’s been amazing for us.”