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Issaquah School District #411

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Issaquah School District #411Benefit from software with in Tyler's VersaTrans RP Collection

Tyler's VersaTrans RP and Tyler's VersaTrans e-Link Pack a 1-2 Punch for Issaquah

The Issaquah School District in Washington transports about 9,000 students each day on 85 regular education and 25 special education routes over 112 square miles of territory - and they do it with just two full-time routers, a part time router, and one Transportation Operations Coordinator, Gayle Morgan. Morgan’s role focuses on maintaining Issaquah’s core map data by performing duties such as adding new housing developments, running planning scenarios, monitoring enrollment numbers, and tracking boundaries. She also helps the routers with their day-to-day job of maintaining the district’s 110 routes.

A few years ago, Issaquah chose VersaTrans RP to replace their existing routing and planning solution, and VersaTrans e-Link to help reduce some of the administrative burden on the transportation office.

VersaTrans RP is a powerful, yet easy-to-use routing and planning software program that links student data, map data, boundaries, and routes together to form a holistic view for route management and planning. With VersaTrans RP, users can analyze existing routes and pinpoint and correct inefficiencies, and can plan for changes such as re-districting and school closings and consolidations.

VersaTrans e-Link is a web-based application that interfaces with VersaTrans RP to enable authorized users outside of the transportation office to access transportation information. With VersaTrans e-Link, transportation departments can de-centralize some of the duties that accompany the start of school - such as looking up information for parents who call seeking information on their children’s transportation arrangements.

The switch to these VersaTrans’ products packed a 1-2 punch in efficiency for Issaquah.

“At the beginning of the school year, with things always hectic, it [VersaTrans e-Link] saves hundreds of calls to us… the secretaries can look up the info first, and then if there is a question, they can call us,” Morgan advised, describing the benefits of VersaTrans e-Link. But how has VersaTrans RP helped Issaquah improve efficiencies? “We have been able to combine more individual runs, to make longer routes for drivers and eliminate additional individual runs. This saves the district money in extra drivers and buses and adds time for drivers, which has created a ‘win-win’ for all concerned. This summer alone, we were able to combine summer runs, saving the district over $6,000 in just a 6-week period.”

VersaTrans RP’s One Touch Routing (OTR) feature enables the user to turn the challenge of drawing a route over to the software. It takes variables input by the user and automatically generates a baseline route that can be modified as needed to account for factors that cannot be anticipated by any software program (such as a road with a finicky traffic light that the department purposely avoids).

“Using OTR for ideas on how routes could be done, easily adjusting parameters for more ideas, and copying routes and making minor adjustments all make for much easier planning. It allows us to see the length of time for the route, as well as the number of students on the route,” Morgan says.

Prior to implementing VersaTrans RP, Issaquah struggled with their routing challenges using another routing software. “VersaTrans is much more user friendly. VersaTrans RP follows the Microsoft® protocol and makes it much easier to figure out, even if you are not completely familiar with the software,” Morgan advises. “In my job, I absolutely love the ease of updating the map - it is easy to add roads and house ranges, and the planning data is absolutely essential for getting student numbers, and for adding new schools and boundary changes.”

When asked what features she valued most in the software, Morgan was quick to add that while the department values feature-rich VersaTrans RP and VersaTrans e-Link, one of the most valuable aspects of moving to VersaTrans wasn’t software related.

“The VersaTrans support staff is outstanding! If I can’t figure out a problem, they are quick to respond, easy to work with, and the WebExTM experience is outstanding. Each of the support staff has lots of patience as well as software experience, and they work collaboratively. If one does not have the answer, they work together to find the answer. They are wonderful and only a phone call away.”


 

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