Stage Three of a transportation route efficiency review has been completed and looks favourably upon the strategies incorporated by Rocky View Schools its busing system.
Overall, it was found that RVS makes efficient use of their bus routes when all the constraints are taken into account.
"You decide that the maximum ride length is going to be "x," that you don't want schools to start before a certain time or end before a certain time," explains RVS Superintendent Greg Luterbach. "So when they looked at all those factors, as well as the fact that we provide transportation to the Calgary Catholic Schools that are in our RVS communities. When they put all that in a blender they looked at that and said we're doing a good job."
Luterbach admits that the review did find areas where RVS could save money but that would mean a change to bell-times or extend the time a student spent on a bus. For the sake of students, the division is not willing to consider these changes.
The reviewers didn't have to do ride-a-longs as part of their review process. They simply utilized software that RVS already had in place, explains Luterbach.
"They take the data from our routing and mapping system and they look at the system, they look at where the stops are at and they compare it. They basically run some simulations on the software and say, 'okay, what if we made the ride length from 75 (minutes) the most we currently have, to 90 minutes. You could save "x" amount of routes."
In October 2019, the RVS board of trustees agreed to invest $50,000 for the route efficiency review to see if there were ways to make bus transportation in the division more cost-effective and efficient.
Edulog (Education Logistics, Inc.) was awarded the contract to conduct the study in three stages: efficiency assessment, data assessment, and route optimization review.
The first two stages of the review were brought back to the board planning committee in May.
The entire report will now be reviewed by the RVS transportation department and, where possible, the recommendations made in it will be integrated into route planning for the 2020-2021 school year.
The transportation department will be considering alternate scenarios for the September startup because of potential load restrictions that could be implemented by the government.