May 18, 2024

Georgia District Turns Challenges Into Opportunities with Versatrans

Author: Elizabeth Davidson
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Working with transportation offices around the U.S. and Canada is one of the best parts of working at Tyler Technologies. This is especially true when I hear stories about how our solutions really help districts meet the struggles they face.

For example, in 2016, challenges were quickly adding up for Dwayne Dimsdale, transportation director of Camden County School District in Georgia. He told me that his department was simultaneously tasked with reducing its bus fleet, making routes more efficient, and proposing and implementing a new school transportation schedule that increased the elementary school day by 40 minutes and dismissed secondary schools earlier. Dwayne had a hunch that implementing Versatrans would allow him to address each of these overlapping issues. “The comprehensive change required rebuilding our routing system from the ground up,” he said, “A daunting task, but a great opportunity to fully explore the capabilities of Versatrans.”

The district’s transportation office and Tyler support (otherwise known as “the best technical support team on the planet” according to Dwayne) quickly set about addressing the district’s multiple goals. During the 2016-17 school year, “Camden County Schools used the program to prepare scenarios for proposed school schedule changes,” Dwayne explained. “We were able to provide three separate transportation scenarios to give to our school board a choice as to how to handle the newly proposed school schedule.”

Once a schedule was chosen, he said, “we started from scratch and used Versatrans to draw all of our proposed routes. The program did a great job giving us base routes to work from. Our first day of full implementation was the first day of school. We utilized e-Link [the Versatrans parent portal] to make the new information available to the public.”

And Versatrans is helping the district adapt to meet future challenges as well: “Since our implementation,” Dwayne said, “we have begun using the planning feature to create very useful zoning scenarios that include population of customized designed boundaries. This feature is extremely helpful when looking at rezoning due to overcrowding.”

When I asked about the benefits of Camden County Schools using Versatrans, Dwayne listed them for me: “Nine percent reduction in the number of buses needed from 79 to 72; a 12% reduction in the number of daily miles traveled from 4,004 to 3,544; a 12% reduction in fuel costs; a reduction in drivers needed; and an overall decrease in average route time. And we saw all of these benefits while taking into account a 12% increase in daily ridership from 8,581 students to 10,391 students.”

Thank you to Dwayne and his team for letting us share his story of success here.