Can a school be instrumental in helping pupils get to school safely

What if you could ensure complete safety and traceability of your children’s journey on any given school day? It has been the local authority’s responsibility to secure safe travel routes for children, but with increasing cuts to bus routes- often those that are relied upon by the younger generation-we need a solution, and OFEC may have a solution.

With the recent wave of roadworks in and around Oxford, my bus has an average of 10-minute delay on weekdays. As the old adage goes, two buses (which were supposed to have gotten here 10 minutes apart) turns up both at once- there is no happy medium, just the two extremes. My thoughts vary from wanting to take over the driving to inch the bus forward that little bit faster, to wanting to call in sick to avoid the whole thing. You know what I’m talking about- anybody who has every gotten on a public bus.

With traffic forecast for UK set to rise up to 17% in the next 10 years, we need a better solution. As workplaces are already tackling this challenge with their own travel schemes, the only demographic left in the lurch are the under 16s, the students, the real at risk commuters.

How on earth will our children get to school on time, if the problem will only be getting worse? Wouldn’t it be great if our children, living in the comfort of the iconic Transport for London bus service area, could have the same luxury of not having to wait an extraordinary amount of time on a daily basis; or, speaking from experience, having to walk 20 minutes to the nearest ATM to get cash out to get the bus in the mornings.


What if there was a bus service where you could track your journey- like Google maps, but live-updated version from the bus itself. What if you didn’t have to have the exact change- as it is all paid in advance, or will be paid at the end of the month. What if, you could book your seat on the bus? This would make a difference!


The time has come where the community and schools need to take charge of the transportation needs of the young people in the community, despite the Government granting this privilege to the local authorities who may or may not be  looking into this.


A solution ready to go

OFEC offers a highly customised service for each and every school and institution who have a bus service or who are considering having a bus service. It’s called Route-r. If you fall into the latter category, good news it is easier than ever to set this system up so that you can create a cash flow within weeks. Some of the key features are as follows:


Fully automated, User Friendly

The users, aka the community, is in control of transport in every sense of the word:

  • online sign-ups
  • registering interest from the parents (via online account)
  • online payments
  • waiting list sign ups for their children
  • use of the integrated map
  • routing bus journeys
  • finding their nearest stop in the bus route in real time (for parents picking up children at a meeting point)
  • and finally, puts the important decisions in their hands.


Can monitor, track and see live updates of journey

This works in more than one way. How about if the pupil gets off the bus then realises they left their bag behind? What if a parent wanted to know whereabouts in the journey their child was? What if there’s traffic and the journey takes longer than necessary, or if the bus needed to follow a diversion path? All communications are taken care of in that it is updated live on to their login areas. Moreover, these same services can be used to monitor students on a school trip.

Flexibility is at the forefront of Route-r


The school administration can now avoid the nightmare that is early bookings and last minute cancellations by having the admin work minimised through the system. The parents can book for part of or all the journey, and also make last minute bookings as seats are cancelled, and the system can allocate the seats in real time.


The system accommodates for a regular pass for children as well as for those days when there is an emergency drop off needed.


Having a regular influx of cash is of utmost importance for any business, be it in the education sector or otherwise. Having regular commuters, and also being able to have exchange students get passes for the duration of their time ensures that the customer service as a service provider is up to par.


And you, the admin, can set it so that it literally funds itself


When using this service, you can set out the terms for a lowest threshold for attendance on the bus service so that the bus will only run if a certain number of seats have been booked by a set date.


You can also liaise with nearby schools so that it runs a cross-school service, to maximise the profitability but reduce the cost of initial investment. You could also anticipate and ensure a steady stream of revenue by allowing selective booking: the system can show preference to the term-long bookers before opening the booking up to those who need it ad-hoc and are not a regular.


And there is no additional staff time required on these booking processes:

Because you can log in as a parent or a child, then view bookings, spaces on bus and grab one as it comes along. You can do ad-hoc bookings (if they’re running late on any given day), or if the parent forgets bus money.


Best thing about it? You can crunch numbers real-time and increase profitability

You are no longer working on hunches or user-reported data. You can slice and dice the figures on how many bookings there are on any one route, which route is the most profitable, what times are the busiest and which months have the least traffic etc. You can look at the number of full-time commuters, and communicate proposed changes to the route via the system so that the parents can make bookings. You could also create profitability scales using calculations on price per seat per journey to the commute pass per term and calculate costs v. profit accordingly. You could even use introductory schemes such as free (or discounted) transit pass to increase commuters, as observed in real life contexts here and here.


All this in one piece of software. Putting the admin where it should be: in the customers’ hands, leaving you to do the value-added services.


Call us today to discuss your needs and book a free demo on 01865 556070.

Bus Booking System