April 23, 2024

Routing Choices That Move You Forward

Author: Elizabeth Davidson
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The technology at your fingertips can either propel your
team’s productivity or it can grind your office to a halt. Debbie Swenson, the
transportation systems and technical analyst at Arlington ISD in Texas,
recently shared her experience trying to route with inefficient tools and the
frustrations that ultimately led the district to seek a better solution.

A few years ago, the district was using several different
tools to address their routing needs. They were using a basic routing and planning
program for the majority of their routes, but, as Debbie explained, “We were
experiencing glitches and getting very frustrated with our software company. We
even had a running spreadsheet of all of the problems and if/when they were
resolved.”

These issues were exacerbated by any atypical routing
situations, such as field trips and McKinney Vento routes. “We used to rely on
Google Maps and Mapquest to route our McKinney Vento students,” she said. “We
also relied on Excel sheets to track many of our student riders.” These tools
were time-consuming, unreliable, and required more manual work than the
district was able to take on.

Realizing it was the right time to start seeking a better
alternative, district officials began their research. After it became clear
that Tyler’s Versatrans suite would give them the freedom and flexibility they
needed, the transportation team and the Tyler implementation team got to work
installing Versatrans Routing & Planning, Triptracker, e-Link, and
Onscreen.

“Triptracker has resolved the majority of our trip problems
and has allowed us to run reports that we weren’t able to run in the past. We
were also able to provide Tyler’s online training videos for our coaches and
secretaries that explained how to enter their field trips,” Debbie said. “Now
we have access to a five-county map which allows us to route in Versatrans,
thus reducing our routing and processing times, so Versatrans has definitely
made our McKinney Vento routing easier. We will also be eliminating the majority
of our Excel spreadsheets now because Versatrans has the ability to track
students for us.”

The right technology makes all the difference, as Debbie
knows first-hand: “Our routing is easier and more accurate, and our data is
streamlined.”