Dude, Where's My Bus?
Telematics takes transportation management to a new level.
By John Lang, III, and Winship Wheatley
What does a word that sounds like the name of a sub-deity from Greek mythology have to do with managing your school bus fleet? Before you answer “nothing,” read on.
The word we're talking about is "telematics." (It does sound Greek mythology-like, doesn’t it?) Telematics, according to Wikipedia, is "any integrated use of telecommunications and informatics." Not feeling terribly enlightened yet? Let’s simplify it a bit and focus on vehicles. (That’s where managing your school bus fleet comes in.)
Telematics describes the integration of vehicle-based hardware (for example, a Global Positioning System and a cellular communication unit) to transmit real-time data to a remote location for instant collection, processing, and subsequent transmission of actionable information (not data, there’s a significant difference between data and information) to decision makers.
While your personal GPS is a great tool, it provides you with “in the moment” feedback on where you are; it does not tell you where you were an hour ago or two weeks ago. It does not measure your idling time and vehicle emissions, maintain a maintenance history of your vehicle, or track the comings and goings of the passengers in your car or van. It certainly does not provide you with the tools to inspect your car before you take a trip.
A comprehensive telematics product enables you to do all of these things and much more.
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John Lang, III, is area manager, Office of Transportation, Baltimore County Public Schools, Timonium, Maryland. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Winship Wheatley is retired director of transportation for Anne Arundel County Schools in Annapolis, Maryland. You can email him at email@example.com
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February 2011 Table of Contents
FOCUS ON SUPPORT SERVICES AND STAFF
Web-Based Employee Orientation and Induction Program
Dude, Where’s My Bus?
By John Lang, III, and Winship Wheatley
Liability and Legitimacy of School Transportation Services
By Tim Ammon and Peggy Burns
A New Model
of Transportation Service for Students with Disabilities
By Pete Meslin
Example: Health Promotion Programs for School Staff
By Patrick C. Herbert, M.D. and David K. Lohrmann, Ph.D.
Cafeteria Operations: Separating Myth from Reality
By Richard Weeks, RSBA
Desegregation and Education Facilities
By Richard C. Hunter, Ed.D.
The Knowledge Question: How SFO Certification Solves for the Unknown
The 2010 Eagle Institute: Discovering the Leadership Opportunity in a Crisis
2010 Eagle Award Winners
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S MESSAGE
How Green Is Your Parking Lot? Promoting Sustainability on Campus
By Matt Jobin, AIA
Teacher Furloughs and Students with Disabilities
By Allan G. Osborne, Jr., Ed.D. and Charles J. Russo, J.D., Ed.D.
TIPS, TOOLS, AND
Oh the Places You Can Go
By Margit Weisgal, CME
SPOTLIGHT ON MIKE
Next month in School Business Affairs:
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