New software to allow Berkeley Co. schools to track buses, improve routes

VIDEO: New software to allow Berkeley Co. schools to track buses, improve routes

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The Berkeley County School District has purchased new software to map out and track its school bus routes and improve transportation efficiency.

Currently, district leaders say there have been delays in getting children to class and back home that can range from 30 minutes to up to an hour.

“Now, we’ve made some improvements, but we can do a whole lot better,” Berkeley County School District Director of Transportation Keith Terry said. “We also do not want to impede on the personal obligations that our students have with their families at the end of the day. Currently, we turn a 7 to 8 hour day into a 12 and 13 hours day.”

Officials hope Versatrans will address this challenge and more. The transportation management software will allow the district to improve route times, increase safety, track bus locations in real time, and address a growing population of students needing access to transportation.

Terry said the district has had the program since November and training is underway for some employees, but it will still be some time before it's fully implemented.

A transportation efficiency study, which is set to be completed in April, will impact the timeline because district leaders want to use the information to coordinate bus routes with the start and end times for schools.

For now, district employees continue to map bus routes by hand.

“We have to strategically plan how we are going to pick up students, drop off students and fit it all into how we are going to get them on time to school and away from school to get home in a timely manner,” Terry said. “The automated system will allow up to import our active students who are currently enrolled in all of our schools and special programs.”

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