New York City upgrades 10,000-strong school bus system


Developer of ridesharing technology and on-demand public mobility, Via, has been selected by the New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE) to provide a revolutionary school bus management system for the USA’s largest school district.

The new ‘Via for Schools’ service will be the first integrated, automated school bus routing, tracking, and communication platform in the world. Parents and students will have the ability to track, in real-time, their bus’ whereabouts and receive frequent and reliable communications in the event of service changes, improving safety and bringing peace of mind to all users of the system. By using Via’s best-in-class algorithms to optimize school bus routing, the Department of Education will be able to achieve operational efficiencies and reduce transportation costs.

As the largest school district in the country, the NYCDOE transports approximately 150,000 students on 9,000 bus routes each and every day to get them safely to and from school across the city. Via for Schools is purpose built to serve the New York City’s diverse student populations, including General Education, Special Education, Students in Temporary Housing, and others through one integrated school transportation system. The system will use a flexible algorithm, which allows for both stop-to-school and home-to-school pickups, accommodating students regardless of their learning style, mobility constraints, or place(s) of residence.

Via’s technology is already in use in more than 50 markets across the globe, by such leading public sector transportation providers as Los Angeles Metro, Transport for London, and Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG). For Via for Schools, the company’s intelligent routing system will optimize school buses’ daily, fixed routes to be as efficient as possible, while also providing the flexibility to respond dynamically to realities on the ground such as street closures and traffic congestion. The system is expected to significantly improve operational efficiency and aims to ultimately reduce transportation costs for the NYCDOE. Parents and students will benefit from improved visibility and communications regarding system status and unexpected changes, including real-time bus locations, student boardings and alightings, route changes, and vehicle delays.

“We are delighted to be partnering with the New York City Department of Education to set a new standard of excellence in school transportation,” said Daniel Ramot, co-founder and CEO of Via. “We were founded in New York, where we are proud to operate the city’s most efficient on-demand shared ride service. We’re thrilled to have an opportunity to further serve the New York community by applying our technology to operate a world-class school bus system.”

Schools Chancellor, Richard A Carranza, added, “Through our partnership with Via, we’ll soon have a state-of-the-art app for families to track buses and get real-time automatic updates. We are grateful for the City Council’s advocacy, leadership and partnership. Safe and reliable transportation is critical for all families, and we’re committed to getting it right this year.”

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Adam joined the company in 1994, and has been News Editor of TTT since 2009. In his other role as Circulation Manager, he helped create the original Traffic Technology International distribution list 23 years ago, and has been working on it ever since. Outside of work, he is a keen fisherman, runs a drumming band, and plays an ancient version of cricket.