Education Logistics Announces New Initiative to Highlight Customer Savings

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Missoula, MT – November 2, 2009 Education Logistics, Inc. (EDULOG) announced today a new company initiative to highlight the real world results of cost savings reported by school districts using either the EDULOG routing and scheduling software or the company’s electronic driver payroll system. Districts both large and small have documented financial savings and improved service directly attributable to the capabilities of the EDULOG system. An initial sampling of just nine of EDULOG’s more than 1,300 clients reported a combined total of more than $11.3 million in savings for the 2009-10 school year alone.

To acknowledge its clients’ successes, EDULOG has added a new “savings ticker” to its website that provides a real time display of actual financial savings as reported to the company by school districts. The company is encouraging clients to report their success stories.

The EDULOG routing and scheduling system is based on intuitive, easy-to-use software that automates many of the daily functions of managing a school district transportation operation. In addition, the EDULOG system features powerful optimization routines that take into account travel time, passenger loads, and distance to produce solutions that can reduce fleet requirements by as much as 25 percent. Optimization consists of developing the most efficient a system of bus routes and schedules as possible within the guidelines of existing or potential transportation policies. EDULOG has consistently been acknowledged to be the only company capable of providing true global optimization in all three of the major routing functions: stop location, run building, and route coupling. The optimization results of the software have been unrivaled for more than 30 years—as documented by countless school district cases studies and head-tohead comparisons with routing software from other companies.

EDULOG is also the only K-12 transportation software vendor with a permanent staff of consulting professionals who provide post-implementation assistance, including optimization studies, to school districts. According to EDULOG, its consulting services group can work with any school district: those who operate their own fleet, those who contract busing, transportation departments that have routing and scheduling software or those that don’t. “Other consultants may have the ability to identify potential savings, but only EDULOG has the experience and knowledge to go beyond this analysis and provide effective recommendations that result in verifiable and permanent improvements, as well as the software tools that gives districts the way to implement the changes,” says EDULOG vice president for consulting services Joe O’Dell. EDULOG has been providing consulting services to improve transportation efficiency for 30 years, and the consulting staff has several hundred years of combined experience in K-12 busing.

“EDULOG’s optimization functions have always been the best in the industry at producing verifiable, valid cost savings while maintaining or even increasing the level of service,” explains Mike Darling, EDULOG president. “And these recent reports from these school districts prove once again that the EDULOG system is not only a powerful management tool, but also the most effective software for answering school district transportation operations’ biggest questions: how do we cut costs, and then how do we implement the plan?”

The initial $11.3 million in savings was reported to EDULOG by the following school districts:

Clayton County Public Schools, GA: Projects $1 million in annual driver payroll savings

The Clayton County Public Schools (CCPS) of Georgia projects nearly $1 million dollars in annual savings attributed to EDULOG’s eDPS (Electronic Driver Payroll System). eDPS is a mobile application that uses cell phones to report and record bus driver work schedules in real time.

“With the EDULOG payroll system we’ve taken care of two of our district’s goals: reducing payroll costs while keeping busing services the same; and ensuring that all labor records are fair and accurate in order to reduce lawsuits and claims against the district,” says John Lyles, transportation director for the CCPS. “We had previously used paper time cards, and with those, a considerable amount of human error is inevitable. And with 522 drivers and monitors being paid an average of $19 per hour, 15 minutes here and there can quickly add up.”

“EDULOG presented us with a very elegant and inexpensive solution: place cell phones on the buses where the drivers would use the keypad to enter their ID numbers, and the system would take care of the rest,” Lyles notes. “That way there is no need for all the drivers to go to one place and punch into a time clock, there can be no fudging of the time, and there’s no need to collect, store, and transcribe paper cards. That in itself saves time and money, and EDULOG’s electronic system keeps accurate records down to the minute.”

The eDPS system could save the district as much as $1 million per year in payroll costs, based on the results observed since the eDPS system was introduced in August, although Lyles adds that, “As a result of a variety of CCPS policies and service standards, the actual savings amount may vary.” This savings results from paying drivers for their actual time behind the wheel compared to self-reported hours as was the previous practice.

The Clayton County Public Schools is the fifth largest school district in Georgia, with more than 52,000 students enrolled at 63 schools. Located just south of Atlanta, CCPS operates a fleet of 505 school buses.

Toronto Catholic District School Board, ON: Saved $76,000; Removed 2 buses

This large urban busing operation has been an EDULOG client for more than a decade, and estimates that the EDULOG system has resulted in millions of dollars in operational and capital savings—with most of this coming in the early years of system use. And even though the Toronto Catholic District School Board (TCDSB) has one of the most efficient school transportation plans in North America, TCDSB EDULOG operators were able to use the system to remove a further two buses from service this school year, thus eliminating $76,000 in expenses.

The board transports more than 30,000 students to 201 schools throughout Canada’s largest metropolitan area.

Memphis City Schools, NC: Saved $8,200,000; Reduced fleet from 496 to 331 buses

The Memphis City Schools (MCS) contracts with First Student, Inc. for transportation services, and was able to eliminate one-third of its routes—reducing the fleet size from 496 to 331 buses—by using the EDULOG system to tier more routes, remove hundreds of bus stops, assign some special education students to schools closer to their homes, and enforce the district’s transportation eligibility policies. The results are an expected reduction of 36 percent of the district’s original $23 million annual transportation budget.

“Tightening budgets required MCS to take a closer look at the number of routes and buses that First Student was running,” states William White, executive director of school choice and student accounting for MCS. “This type of drastic reduction is never popular, but we knew the savings were there, and transportation efficiency has become increasingly important.”

“The implementation of changes this widespread was quite challenging,” White continues. “EDULOG was critical to our success.”

The Memphis City Schools is the largest school district in Tennessee, with more than 105,000 students attending a total of 209 schools. The district has been using EDULOG’s routing software since 1998.

Carroll County School System, GA: Saved $300,000; Eliminated 20 buses from the fleet

“The Carroll County School System will lose another $9 million in funding in 2010/2011,” says transportation director Denzil Rogers. “After converting to EDULOG from the SmartR system by Trapeze, we used the EDULOG system’s ability to maximize the number of students on a bus and minimize the total number of runs in the system. Since we started with EDULOG, we have cut 20 buses from the fleet and close to 30 from the system (1.5 routes per bus) by using the different approaches available in the software. Altogether, we’ve seen approximately $300,000 each year in savings!”

As the 23rd largest school system in the state of Georgia, the Carroll County School System serves approximately 15,200 students, of which about 11,000 are provided transportation. These students attend any of 22 schools in the county. Carroll County is included in the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, Georgia Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Currituck County Schools, NC: Saved $170,000; reduced three buses; longest rides shortened by nearly an hour

By using the EDULOG.nt system to observe the results of staggered bell times between schools, the district paired bus runs into routes, therefore maximizing the efficiency of the transportation plan by gaining additional runs without involving more buses. This process is known as EDULOG bell time optimization and route coupling optimization.

The result was a reduction in ride time for all students in the target area to reasonable levels. Previously, some students rode for as long as two hours and 16 minutes. With the changes suggested by the EDULOG system, the longest ride time will be one hour and 23 minutes. The number of students with long ride times went from 309 to 72 and most of those were actually in the 65 minute range.

By making several runs shorter, and reusing a single bus for an additional school run, the total number of buses needed to transport students in the target area is reduced from 20 to 17.

“This has worked out better than we thought it would,” says Gary Cox, transportation director. “The staggering of bell times allows us to reduce most of the ride times of our students to less than an hour where it was as much as two, and in the outer areas reducing their ride times, that were as much a two plus hours, to less than 90 minutes. As a bonus, we were able to park two buses saving the county about $170,000 in new bus purchases and reallocate a third to service our early college program. Overall, a big success for the Currituck County Schools.”

The Currituck County Schools has a total enrollment of approximately 3,650 students. According to Census Bureau statistics, Currituck County is the 72nd fastest growing county in the US.

Pender County Schools, NC: Saved $386,000; eliminated three buses

Pender County Schools updated the EDULOG.nt map from county GIS data. After optimization with the new GIS map in place, Pender County Schools was able to reduce its fleet by three buses, eliminate 950 daily miles of travel, and realize savings of approximately $386,000 this school year.

The Pender County Schools serves coast communities in the southeastern portion of the state. Total enrollment of the district is approximately 8,250.

Henderson County Schools, NC: Saved $45,000; Eliminated one bus and 1,200 miles for just one elementary school

The Henderson County Schools transportation office began using EDULOG run optimization at the end of the 2008-2009 school year in an effort to develop more efficient bus runs and routes for 2009-2010.

District transportation staff decreased the Sugarloaf Elementary School bus fleet from four buses to three. Last year, four buses each performed two AM runs and two PM runs daily. By analyzing student transportation data through run optimization, Henderson County Schools determined that the same number of students and geography could be served by just three buses, each performing two AM runs and two PM runs.

In addition to reducing the Sugarloaf bus fleet by 25%, the number of daily miles has been reduced from 171.4 miles last year to 164.6 miles for 2009-2010. Likewise, the total minutes of driving time decreased from 568 minutes to 510 minutes per day. These daily savings calculate to reductions of 1,229.4 miles and 174 hours of driving time over the course of the 180 day school year.

Henderson County is located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, and the district has a total enrollment of more than 13,000 students.

Cabarrus County Schools, NC: Saved $1,000,000; Reduced fleet by 50 buses

The Cabarrus County Schools transportation office used EDULOG.nt software during the summer to explore reducing the district bus fleet. A new transportation plan has since been adopted and is being implemented for the 2009-2010 school year. By experimenting with a three-tiered, staggered bell time structure using run optimization, district transportation staff determined that the entire bus fleet could be reduced by nearly 25 percent and still have the capability to serve the same geography and number of students. Last year, Cabarrus County Schools operated 963 distinct bus runs using 233 buses, for an average of 4.1 runs each day per bus (two AM runs, two PM runs).

Using the EDULOG system, many of the longer runs were reworked and shortened to accommodate a new three-tier bell time structure. After analyzing school transportation data in TIMS, Cabarrus County Schools reduced the entire bus fleet to 180 buses.

By increasing the number of daily runs for each bus, Cabarrus County Schools has reduced the entire fleet by 53 buses (22.7%) and expects an average increase of 30 miles per day (39%) for each bus. The successful staggering of bell times and pairing of runs and routes also reduced student ride time.

The savings resulting from transitioning 50 teacher assistants who had been driving buses back to the classrooms, thus eliminating the need for the transportation department to pay 40 percent of the assistants’ salaries. This move also allowed the district to designate more full-time bus drivers, thus increasing the benefits for those those drivers. Cabarrus County Schools estimates that $20,000 was saved for each of these 50 buses when accounting for the cost of teacher assistant salaries and other expenses.

Cabarrus County Schools educates more than 22,300 students in Carolina’s Piedmont region.

Watauga County Schools, NC: Saved $132,500; Eliminated 350 miles and 7.7 hours of driving time each day.

Anticipating a reduction in transportation funding, transportation supervisor Toni Floyd reviewed the proximity of stops to one another as well as the amount of travel on side roads that occurred during the 2008-2009 school year.

Complying with North Carolina laws and policies, Watauga County Schools eliminated a substantial amount of travel on a number of side roads where, safety permitting, students are able to walk to and from home to a corner stop just off the main road. Additionally, several bus stops within close proximity were moved to a minimum distance of 0.2 miles from one another thus reducing the amount of unique stops made each day.

By analyzing potential bus loads in the EDULOG system and using an effective system of transfers in accordance with staggered bell times, Floyd was able to reduce a number of buses from several schools, while significantly reducing daily mileage and driving hours across the county.

At $13.80 per hour for driving time and $1.80 per mile for bus travel, the district estimates that the changes will result in a first year savings of more than $132,500 (daily reduction of 350 miles and 7.7 hours of driving time for a 180 day school year).

Watauga County Schools serves 4,650 students in the High Country of North Carolina along the Tennessee border.

Education Logistics, Inc. (EDULOG) has been recognized as the industry leader in pupil transportation solutions since 1978, with an estimated 150,000+ school buses routed by its clients each day. EDULOG partners with K-12 school districts to provide total transportation management systems including true GIS planning and scheduling software, efficiency and optimization studies, guaranteed cost savings plans, GPS-based routing software, student tracking, driver payroll, vehicle inspection, boundary planning, enrollment projection, field trip management, fleet maintenance, innovative ASP solutions for small and medium-sized districts, and a comprehensive selection of Internet-based products. EDULOG uniquely combines its powerful software with initial and continuing consulting services provided by the industry’s largest source of such expertise. For more information about EDULOG, visit www.EDULOG.com.