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Transfinder Software Increases Efficiency of APW Transportation

Submitted article

</p>Stewart Brown (front), APW Supervisor of Transportation, demonstrates the Transfinder software program the district has implemented in the transportation department. Members of the BOE were given a guided tour of the program. Pictured in back is BOE member Ernie Peters.
Stewart Brown (front), APW Supervisor of Transportation, demonstrates the Transfinder software program the district has implemented in the transportation department. Members of the BOE were given a guided tour of the program. Pictured in back is BOE member Ernie Peters.

With newly restructured routes, added bus runs and concerns for time spent on buses, the APW District is putting the new Transfinder software to the test. During a demonstration of the new program to the APW BOE recently, Stewart Brown, Supervisor of Transportation showed how he created new routes for the district using the software. He explained that by setting priorities for the program, such as length of time students would be on the bus, optimum number of students on a bus, reasonable number of stops and other concerns, the software would determine the most efficient bus routes within the district automatically. Adjustments can easily be made using the software when routes need to be adapted in certain circumstances, such as a new student pickup or drop off or a temporary or permanent change to a stop.

The program further benefits the district by providing safer transportation of students, and lower transportation operating expenses. By developing the most efficient routes, better gas mileage is one of the benefits that will save the district money.

Fleet maintenance is another important aspect of the Transfinder program which will increase efficiency and continue the savings for the district. The program can track a variety of important data, including inventory, scheduled maintenance, fuel usage and more.  John Phillips, senior mechanic in the transportation department, explained to the BOE members that the program will print reports on fleet vehicles and tracks which of those vehicles require more or less maintenance.  The transportation department can then examine the information and make adjustments where necessary. The district acquired the new software program during the 2007-2008 school year and has been receiving training on use as well as inputting the necessary information into the system to enable its use for this school year.