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Cincinnati Public Schools

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Cincinnati Public SchoolsRouting and Planning Solutions for the Large Urban School District

System with “Slick” Import and Export Features Offers Key Scalability for Large Urban District

The Transportation Department at Cincinnati Public Schools has a rather daunting mission: they coordinate safe transportation for 35,000 students to and from 160 schools within an 80 square mile district territory on a daily basis. 20,000 of those students are transported on school buses, and the department coordinates public transportation for the remaining 15,000 transported students. The department currently accomplishes this by managing 650 AM and 650 PM school bus routes, and by working with three transportation contracting companies. They also coordinate an additional 79 AM and 113 PM Public Transportation EXTRA routes. After years of relying on automation offered by the Edulog DOS system to help, the department determined that it was time to explore automation alternatives, and launched a Request for Proposal (RFP) process. That process led them to Tyler's VersaTrans Solution, and to implementing Tyler's VersaTrans RP, VersaTrans’ routing and planning solution.

Transportation Director Woody Fitzmaurice joined the CPS Transportation Department after the initial implementation, just when the team was beginning to set up the routes. He ensured that not only was his team trained in using the system, but that the staff at the three transportation contract companies used by the district was also trained. “All three bus companies have full access to the system. They each have routers, and their routers interact with our routers,” he explains. This decentralization facilitates efficiency within their transportation coordination processes.

In addition to the application’s scalability, some of its key features have been of benefit to the district as well. “We use virtually every feature in the system,” says Fitzmaurice. But three features stand out as especially helpful throughout daily operations: Fleet Scheduling, data import, and data export. “The key to efficient operations is to ensure the fewest number of buses are on the road at any given time,” explains Fitzmaurice, “The Fleet Scheduling feature provides visual representation of the bus assignments and enables us to easily modify and make adjustments as needed. It’s very useful.”

The Import and Export features are also particularly helpful to Mr. Fitzmaurice and his team. “The import and export features are slick. The export enables us to extract and manipulate data very easily - we use it for reporting purposes,” advises Fitzmaurice. “And with 60,000 students in the district, we sometimes have to make updates to student records and other information without wanting to reload entire files. We create data files from other sources and upload them via the import to make the necessary updates.”

With staff from the Transportation Department as well as three transportation contract companies using the system, training for all of the teams was important in ensuring the implementation’s success. To accomplish that, the district relied on both onsite and computer-based training. “The training was useful and was able to be customized based on our needs,” says Fitzmaurice.

The Department is also pleased with the level of service and technical support that they have received since implementing the system. “Our staff has worked very well with the VersaTrans Technical Support team to resolve problems. The VersaTrans staff has been responsive to our needs,” says Fitzmaurice.



 

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