Welcome to The Ohio Shared Services Collaborative

buskids Efficiency is doing things right. Effectiveness is doing the right things. It’s about identifying what matters and then leveraging resources to best accomplish this end. We believe in collaboration, data and results to support schools and the community. This webpage provides you with our efforts to date. Our current focus is on school transportation. We invite you to browse our site and to contact us with questions or suggestions.
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We are education providers who have voluntarily agreed to pool our time, talent and other resources to tackle the difficult work of providing quality services to Ohio school districts for the lowest cost. We believe that by working together we can accomplish more.
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school-crossing-sign-flickr-brianjmatis-630x420-e1349194643873Our consortium members agreed to work together to map student addresses and routes, and associated transportation and school locations; to utilize a common transportation database; and to regularly meet to review and consider within and cross district routing and shared transportation locations. The grant allows us to equip each bus with a commercially available GPS hardware to track routes driven, bus stop arrival times, vehicle speeds, and current location. An associated ground control software will provide continuous data aggregation and various analyses. In addition, a radio frequency ID (RFID) reader will be installed on each bus, and each student will be issued a passive swipe RFID card. No additional effort is required of the driver. The RFID system permits an accurate count of ridership and time and place students board and exit the bus. A text can then be sent to parents via a cell phone application to inform them when their children are getting on and off the bus.
The OESCA Transportation Grant…

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INSPIRED BY EFFICIENCY

busHigh fuel costs…continual upkeep and maintenance…and a shortage of certified bus drivers.

Hassles like these are causing school districts to spend more money on transportation and often reduce services, causing problems for already hard-working families. The Noble Local School district has a better idea.

Twenty rural Ohio school districts are installing GPS systems in their buses to see where they can merge routes and save costs.

The district is partnering with 19 other rural school districts to make getting kids to class more efficient. Using $1.7 million in Straight A funding, the districts will use GPS technology installed on more than 400 school buses to collect and analyze data, such as travel time, mileage, idle time, authorized stops, vehicle speed and route start and stop times. They’ll use the results to consolidate routes and minimize fuel consumption while still offering good service to families.

A case in point: three districts in the consortium send 15 students each to a career center. Each district uses its own bus, designed for 70 passengers, for a trip that is up to 30 miles one way. By sharing services, the three districts can send one bus, instead of three, to transport the 45 students to school.

Districts in the consortium simultaneously will improve student safety and parents’ peace of mind by using radio frequency identification technology that provides a precise time and location for each student boarding or exiting a bus. A parent can use a smart phone or electronic tablet to confirm that his or her child was picked up and dropped off at home and at school.

StraightALogo“We believe that through shared services and other efficiencies, we may be able to reduce the number of routes by 20 in the consortium,” said Noble Local Superintendent Dan Leffingwell. “Anything we can do to increase our efficiency is saving our districts money that we can redirect to our classrooms.”

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Selecting School Bus Stop Locations

schoolbus_thumb[3]Transporting students to and from school safely is a foremost priority for school transportation directors, school bus drivers, crossing guards and others involved in getting students to school. School children travel to and from their schools by a variety of modes including school buses, private vehicles, carpools, public and private transportation providers, bicycles and on foot.

School buses are the safest mode of transportation to and from school in the United States. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, approximately 450,000 public school buses travel approximately 4.3 billion miles to transport 23.5 million children to and from school and school-related activities. On average, 20 school-age children die each year in school bus–related crashes or incidents. Of these 20, five of the children are injured inside the bus, five are struck by other vehicles, and 10 are struck by the school bus itself. These statistics indicate that there’s an opportunity for even this very safe form of travel to improve the safety of both the locations where students wait for the school bus and the routes students travel between home and the school bus stop.

clicktoreadSchool transportation planners are tasked with planning bus routes. However, only fragmented information regarding safety considerations for determining the location of school bus stops has been available to them. Generally, the placement of school bus stops dictates not only the routes that students will have to travel between home and the stop, but also the conditions in which the student will be waiting, and both impact student safety.

School transportation professionals, school administrators, and others who care about student transport to school could benefit from straightforward guidelines that present safety-related considerations for school bus stop siting. These guidelines offer steps for the designation of school bus stops and strategies to support safe pedestrian behavior by students between their homes and their bus stops. This guide is timely as school budgets and other pressures may lead to the consolidation of bus routes and/or expansions of areas designated as “no transport zones.” Both of these changes can lead to increased walking distances for students or shifts to travel modes other than buses. In addition, new schools are under construction, existing schools have changing attendance boundaries and other circumstances may also result in potential changes to bus routes. Such changes also present the opportunity to identify new school bus stops.

This article was prepared by The National Center for Safe Routes to School, the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center and The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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