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Washington District Improves Bus Operations, Customer Service With Bytecurve

Bytecurve’s school bus operating platform enables Director of Transportation Gregory Dutton to provide excellent customer service to the families of Renton School District #403 in Washington state.

Making Smart Management Easier

“My job is customer service,” declared Dutton.

After carrying out food and homework supply deliveries from last September through March of this year, the Seattle-area district started a slow return to in-person classes that was completed in April. And Bytecurve 360 is already helping optimize operations.

A 10-year veteran of student transportation, Dutton runs 116 buses for the district of 16,000 students. The district uses Tyler Versatrans for routing and Geotab for telematics, both of which integrate with Bytecurve’s technology that helps manage and improve its daily operations. That comes in handy as Dutton is heavily focused on analyzing data to see how operations can be improved.

“I always felt there was software missing for dispatch,” Dutton stated. He said he appreciates how Bytecurve Scheduling and Dispatch allows dispatchers to have eyes on real-time bus locations in order to quickly respond to parent inquiries on bus status.

He said that he appreciates the way that the Bytecurve dashboard easily shows pertinent data and displays alerts for immediate issues such as drivers who haven’t clocked in or late bus departures.

Bytecurve 360 gives Dutton what he termed “a huge advantage” because it presents data and Key Performance Indicators in a very user-friendly and useful way. He shared that he can look at routes that arrived at school late and dive into the reasons behind the behavior. Did the driver leave late? Was there traffic or another issue on the road?

Bytecurve 360 empowers Dutton to be aware of potential issues and be proactive in fixing them. He stated that he appreciates being able to quickly get to data that would be too time-consuming to dig into without Bytecurve’s robust analytics reporting system.

When the state of Washington allowed transportation funds to be used for COVID-19 meal and technology deliveries, the district needed to track driver hours and miles for these runs. Bytecurve allowed Dutton’s team to run reports so that accounting could accurately handle the budgeting.

Improving Driver Oversight

With his 100 drivers carrying out multiple different runs per day, Bytecurve helps track driver check-ins and bus departures. It also makes last-minute schedule adjustments or driver substitutions quick and easy, if needed.

Bytecurve’s Time and Attendance module is helpful since drivers are discouraged from clocking in in-person due to COVID-19. Dutton estimated 90 percent of his drivers are using Bytecurve’s Drive-On app, which verifies they are on-site at the bus yard before allowing them to clock in remotely.

Messages that previously had to be manually passed to drivers can now be pushed out digitally, with acknowledgment back from the drivers required. At first, Dutton said he was concerned his drivers wouldn’t take to the new system, but he achieved their cooperation after explaining that it was being implemented not for extra control but to make sure the transportation team was providing a high level of customer service to students and other school staff.

His next goal is to eliminate paper timesheets and track driver timesheets in Bytecurve, with data automatically being sent to the payroll department. He estimated this move would save 70 to 80 percent of the time it currently takes for his staff to complete this task and help to ensure the overall accuracy of the payroll calculations.

A Valued Partnership

When the district implemented Bytecurve in September of 2020, in-person training wasn’t possible due to COVID-19. However, Dutton said that setup did not require much training, which was a testament to how user-friendly the software is.

Bytecurve also did most of the heavy lifting on the initial setup and made things “automagically” happen, he quipped.

“ByteCurve is already very helpful, and they’re frequently doing bug fixes and software updates to make it even better,” he added.

Bytecurve 360 is built specifically for student transportation by student transportation experts with decades of industry experience.

We understand the daily challenges of transporting millions of students to and from their schools safely and on time, with practically no margin for error. Our solutions and services are designed to address some of these challenges with targeted tools to help you manage your daily operations.

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