The school bus industry is constantly developing new safety ideas and concepts worldwide, and software systems such as School Travel Manager are just one area that are being looked at.
Primarily a system to track the vehicle and passengers, School Travel Manager also is a great tracking device to see where the vehicle actually is so you can monitor its mileage against fuel.
Fleet operators across many industries and now with difficult decisions about how to fuel their vehicles. And the fleet manager of school bus operators is no different.
Conventional Fuel v Alternative Fuel
Evaluating all the pros and cons of conventional fuel against alternative fuels that are now available is not an easy task. And assessing what to fuel your school bus can be a time consuming experience.
The following factors should be taken into consideration when choosing a fuel for your school bus fleet.
What Are You Trying to Accomplish?
Are you trying to sustain the environment? Or are you trying to change you fleet vehicles? When you are trying to establish your fuel choice the first thing is to clarify what you are trying to achieve.
What Vehicles Would Be Appropriate
An assessment of the mission-critical nature of the school bus services and the factor of fuel availability is important. Of course school buses that have recognised routes would have easier access to alternative fuel sources, those that don’t may struggle to find fuel.
Deciding on your fuel is not as easy as one might think, it cannot be based on an all or nothing philosophy.
It is a common mistake for fleet managers to make, but often they make critical vehicle and fleet decisions on a one year basis and not a five or ten day one.
To assess alternative options without designing a replacement schedule when alternative fueled vehicles can be added to a fleet can be a big mistake. Specific vehicles should be included in any consideration, and what their operational costs as well as initial outlay would be.
What Infrastructure Is Needed
The capital costs associated with retrofitting and developing new fuel sites should be taken into consideration, and the costs of finding any commercial alternatives should be included.
Perhaps this is a great opportunity for school districts, cities, utilities, and other fleet providers to consider joint funding and sharing an infrastructure that everybody could use.
What Alternatives Are There
If your key motivator of the exploration of alternatively-fueled vehicles is the desire to improve fleet sustainability, the cost and to modernise your fleet. You may be better simply improving fleet replacement practices then this will have a bigger impact of your school bus fleet’s carbon footprint, rather than just sporadically adding some alternative fuel vehicles to it.
If you are interested in finding out more of the features and benefits of School Travel Manager, contact us today and speak to one of our experienced team.