What is routeAbus.com?
routeAbus, is the first of its kind web portal
designed to provide geocoding and routing capability for school bus routing. The
free version gives you all the tools you need to do routing anywhere in Norht
America. The paid version provides tech support and more reports and tools.
What is included in routeAbus?
routeAbus includes, geocoding tools, a routing
engine and access to the nation-wide road database. Users can perform all functions
required to load school locations, stops and students. The system provides tools
for creating bus stops, bus routes and assignment of student.
am having trouble getting started. Can you help me?
You can email us as firstname.lastname@example.org
and we can help you get started with some suggestions on where to begin.
Alternatively, we can do all the startup work for you. We will take your students,
facilities, bus stops and existing routes and load them into the system for you.
Once its done, you can just log in and begin to use the system. The cost for this
service is just 25 cent per student.
is routeabus.com so much less expensive than desktop routing software. What is
the past 10 years the entire computer industry is has been evolving to a new Internet
based approach. This evolution is not unlike what happened 20 years ago when
software running on mainframes, was moved to PCs and the costs were reduced by a factor of
100. A hundred thousand dollar piece of accounting software could be purchased
on a PC for less than a thousand. It even had more features. The same thing is
happening now. Software on the PC is moving to the Internet and a similar cost
reduction is occurring. There are of course many factors that go into the cost of a
product, but in our case, routeabus takes advantage of the availability of low cost online
mapping and routing tools. We combine that with the fact that there are no
implementation costs (e.g. we don't have to install any software or databases on
your site), and that is how you end up with $50 per month cost instead of $50,000.
Of course the existing desktop software vendors will go on and on about all the features
they have, and why you should stay with them and pay their hefty fees. But then the
mainframe guys used the same arguments 20 years ago. Anyone want to buy a
Is there Mobile Support?
Yes. Besides being able to simply run the
site from an Ipad or Android tablet, there is the ability for a Bus driver to access the
mobile site for reporting Alerts such as a mechanical breakdown. The alert page
allows the bus driver to report the location of the bus using the phone's built in GPS and
provide details of the issue. The location and the details are then available in
routeabus and can be used to direct another bus or maintance personel to the location of
the disabled bus. Click
here to see the Alert page - Please note the page is configured for a Phone. You
can also use your phone's QR Code reader with the graphic on the right
Can I Post the Bus Stop locations on
Yes. One of the reports from the system
allows you to create Bus Stops on Google maps. Routeabus will create web page with
all schools listed. For each school, the Morning and Afternoon along with any
special shifts will be listed. You can post that page or any portion of it on your
school's web page. Selecting a link on the page will bring up the school location on
Google Maps along with all of the bus stops for that school. Clicking any of the
stops will display information about the pickup/dropoff times, bus number and the Street
View (if available from Google). A list of bus stops by bus number is also provided.
They page is automatically updated, if the bus stop information is changed. Click here to
see an example of this page.
What is the difference between the
paid version and the free version?
They are the same system. The following
limitation apply to the free version.
- The data in the free
version is erased once a year on the aniversary of your account creation date. You can
reupload and recreate your routes.
- You are limited to 6 stops per bus route.
- You do not recieve free technical support.
To see pricing for the paid version, or to
upgrade, click here.
Is it Secure?
All information relating to each school is
stored in a secure database on a remote server hosted at a secure site. Your user
name and password are the only way to gain access to the system. Additionally, you
can also opt not to store any sensetive infomation such as student names on our system.
To perform the system's routing and assignment functions, only an address and a
unique identifier is required. You do not need to upload student names, parents or
any other identifying information other than their street adress.
Why route on the web?
Clearly, there are many bus routing software
products for the desktop. So, why route on the web? There are 3 basic reasons:
- In order to implement a desktop routing application, GIS road data is required.
Most school districts use road data created by their local county's GIS department.
However, this data was created to support E-911 address matching and not routing. As
a result, information about one way streets, left and right side of a divided highway or
which ramp can be used to enter an Interstate is typically not captured by the County
Agency. The school district must either manually update the data or correct the
routeAbus, uses data which was created for routing and is field verified
(note the example above). It includes one way streets, left and right turn only
intersections and other data points needed for routing. It is in fact the same data
set used for Internet routing by portals such as Google Maps and Mapquest. It is
also used by all major in-car navigation and vehicle tracking systems.
- With routeAbus, you do not need to purchase or install any costly routing
software. All you need to route buses is an Internet connection and a web browser
such as Safari, Firefox or Google Chrome. Plus, you can access the system from
anywhere: your office, your home or any place with an Internet connection.
- One of the biggest impediments to the implementation of a multi-user bus
routing system for most school districts is the need for an extensive IT support
staff. To run a typical desktop system, you need SQL RDBMS Servers, Backup software,
desktop applications and high speed network connections. Installing and supporting
this infrastructure, requires up front expenditures and long term IT support staff.
Additionally, most desktop routing applications require you to update the road database
with new roads and updates from your local county.
routeAbus does not require any investment by the school district other than a
computer to access the web. The road data is already included for North
America. Additionally, you do not need to worry about backups, server upgrades and
maintenance of the system. All support functions are included in your subscription
What are the advantages and
disadvantages of school bus routing on the web?
There are both advantages and disadvantages to
using a web based routing system. It is up to the user to decide if the system is
right for the application required.
Less control over the base map data.
The road data in routeAbus is provided by Tom Tom or Navteq. This is the same data
used by web sites such as Google Maps and in-car-navigation systems. Navteq updates
this data 4 times each year. Although Navteq provides online tools for data
improvement suggestions, there is no direct way for users to add roads to the
Requires an Internet Connection.
Obviously being a web based system, routeAbus requires an Internet connection. Most
desktop routing applications do not require an Internet connection.
How is routeAbus different than what
other bus routing vendors offer as ASP?
This gets a bit technical. For several
years, vendors such as Citrix, Glance and others have been providing
tools which allow applications to be served to users over the web. These tools allow
existing desktop applications to be shared with a remote web user through a screen sharing
process. (i.e. the application runs on a server, but the screen appears on the users
desktop inside a web browser). Existing ASP bus routing applications from other
vendors use this approach to allow users web access to their existing desktop routing
As you can see, this is not a true web based application. The problem is that
the intensive screen interaction required for a bus routing application results in poor
performance which degrades exponentially as more users are added. Routeabus.com is
different. routeAbus.com was designed as a 3 Tier web application based on html,
AJAX and XML. routeAbus, is not a desktop application turned into a web application,
it was designed from the ground up as a web product, not because we liked the extra work,
but because you need a web application if you are going to run over the web. After
all, if 3 legs were all that was necessary to make a table, then all tables would have 3
Where is my data stored?
All student, bus stop and route information
created on routeAbus.com are stored in an SQL database running on our servers. You
can choose to download copies of the database and store them locally as well.
Can I cancel, if I am not happy?
Yes! The free version is free, so cancel
anytime you are not happy. The paid version is a subscription service. If you
are not happy for whatever reason, you can cancel your subscription.
How are the fees structured?
Fees are based on the number of students
geocoded and the number of buses to be routed. You can subscribe monthly or
annually. Of course you can opt for the free version as well.