One of the most useful tools in both Crosswalk K-12 and Town Transit is the Fleet View feature. Think of it as a Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) made specially for school districts and transit authorities to use in motoring their bus fleets in real-time, whether that be a paratransit van or yellow school bus. No matter if you’re using a tablet or desktop, administrators can gather essential information about the bus at any moment including location, speed, etc.
Staying true to UniteGPS’ motto of “the power of knowing,” continue reading this blog to learn how the Fleet View feature can always keep you informed!
How does Fleet View work?
Real-time, real-world. The Fleet View feature is an effective tool for customers to see their entire bus fleet. Users will find this tool in the Dashboard under Live Maps, pictured below.
To begin, click on Fleet View to view each bus integrated into the Crosswalk K-12 or Town Transit solution. For our partner Kiona-Benton School District in Washington, below is a photo of what their set-up looks like. As you will see highlighted in yellow, on the left-hand side is the menu listing the vehicle number, the last collection, current GPS location, speed, as well as space for other vehicle details including:
- Vin Number
- Registration tag number
- Contact phone
- Vehicle number
- Property record number
When you are viewing the map, keep in mind that the blue buildings are designated school facilities within the district.
Pro tip: turn the center on bus off if you intend to scroll freely around the map instead of being anchored to the selected bus!
To view an isolated bus, partners select one from the top drop-down menu found to the left-hand side of the screen. This is where we have a complete list of vehicles configured into your account. When you click on a number, the selected vehicle will become highlighted in red. School districts and transit authorities also have the liberty to name the buses whatever they want, although numbers are the most common and practical.
Follow the yellow cursor to select a vehicle in Fleet View and gather pertinent information
Let’s say that the route in which you are seeking isn’t there. In that case, administrators need to go to Manage Route and then click Create New Route.
Best practices for Fleet View
As previously mentioned, an important aspect of this process is that partners give their routes simple names for quick and easy reference, whether they be numbers, names of neighborhoods, etc. Succinct and organized is good when you’re trying to find an alternative route to pick-up a stranded student. For small districts during COVID-19, common groupings have been split up by “AM” and “PM” groups.
Turn off Center on Bus
One thing to also remember when using Fleet View is to have the Center on Bus feature turned off, at least if you want to move about freely. Specifically, this tool constantly realigns the bus to the center of the screen, meaning the screen will always return back to the buses’ location. Turning this off is especially useful when using the interactive map; otherwise, the screen will keep bringing you back to the middle and you won’t be able to move across the map anywhere.
Be sure to turn off the Center on Bus feature to move freely around the map on Fleet View
Equipped with the Fleet View feature, dispatchers also have a mighty tool capable of easily resolving issues out on the field. Imagine that a bus got a flat time. Administrators will be able to see exactly where the bus was last reported on the map, even using satellite view for more precision if necessary. As previously mentioned, what if a child missed the bus? Dispatch can see which other buses are located in the vicinity to come retrieve the student and bring them to school.
Use for system health
Additionally, the Fleet View feature yields massive potential for diagnostic and system health since users can view some crucial information about the bus. Simply hover the mouse above a bus to see the last time it reported but also past speeds, mileage used, registration number, tag number, vehicle capacity, etc. This brings a whole new level of device management into the picture.
At the end of the day, dispatch officers can more easily coordinate solutions in the field, especially if a bus breaks down. Paired with advanced radio communication on buses, if a student needs to be picked-up at a different location, dispatch officers can also find a nearby bus to get the job done. Always know which other buses are in the vicinity with Fleet View.
Safe to say that Fleet View is a powerful tool for dispatchers in performing their duties not only to the public ridership but their drivers. Quality reassurance meets due diligence; this is what school districts receive with UniteGPS!