The reason that companies like Buggy, Zum Rides, HopSkipDrive have been able to launch and grow fast is due to the high need amongst parents for transportation solutions for their children. Today’s children--and their parents-- are busier than ever in our modern society. The current options out there lack the technology and efficiency to work for the majority of households. Here are three ways the yellow school bus is failing families:
1. Lack of Visibility
When you send your kids off to school by bus in the morning, it’s reassuring to get confirmation when they’ve arrived at school. Most school bus providers have internal GPS tracking systems for their dispatchers, but it’s not accessible to the parents. It’s frustrating as a parent not have any idea when your child arrived at school, or when they are getting home.
2. Inflexible Scheduling
Buses, by nature, run on predictable and tried-and-true schedules that are totally inflexible. As a result, parents have to plan their kid’s extracurriculars and appointments around the bus, which can be stressful. Depending on the level of traffic, it’s not uncommon for important activities to be missed due to traffic or bus delays. Imagine your daughter has to attend dance, which is within the route of the bus, but it cannot stop to let out the child--welcome to life on the school bus!
3. Inefficient Route Management
Yellow school bus morning pick up times are often extremely--or unnecessarily early--especially when you consider that it’s not door to door. The companies that run these buses are often older and more stagnant, with little incentive to innovate since they’ve enjoyed long-running contracts with the schools. Their customers are more or less the public school systems, as opposed to the parents and students they serve. That misalignment is where you see lagging technology and routes that don’t take traffic patterns into consideration.
Buggy and other transportation disruptors have the three core issues above in mind when we create our service. We keep in mind that parents appreciate touch-points and communication when it comes to their child. We use algorithms to optimize for traffic and map our drivers to back roads to save time. We are constantly iterating and improving our routes for maximum efficiency, keeping in mind any activities a child may have. The service is highly personalized to the needs of the families we service, which couldn’t be further from how a school bus functions.