Mainstream and Special Education Needs transport are a huge cost to UK Government and Local authorities. Periodically, the transport provision needs to be completely reviewed. Schools transport needs to be re-allocated each year as new pupils join, others leave and many move house or school. This is a complex and lengthy manual task, often resulting in reviews being carried out too infrequently. Some authorities may review their schools contracts on a rolling basis, perhaps a quarter of the schools every four years.
Not reviewing the mainstream schools or Special Education Needs transport regularly results in pupils being ‘shoe-horned’ into existing contracts, and mopping up the residue with a high cost alternative, such as taxis. The result is a gradual degradation in the efficiency of the contracts, and an associated increase in their cost.
With broad experience in these areas and related technologies, along with particular knowledge of transport issues in the UK and mainland Europe, DDS has supported planners and operators for over a decade, developing systems to improve efficiency, drive down costs, and offer new types of flexible transport.
When considering Special Education Needs, the MTC software suite will closely match passenger requirements to fleet capacity and capability, providing information for drivers and promoting improved awareness of SEN requirements. Efficiency will benefit from real-time routing of individual or ad hoc bookings and pre-optimisation for large numbers of passengers.
A fusion of modern technologies, such as Geographical Information Systems (GIS), high speed computers, automatic routing algorithms and networked communications, enables the MTC suite to provide all of the tools needed to manage and plan schools transport for Mainstream or Special Education Needs.
Worcestershire County Council has adopted the full MTC (Mobisoft Travel Centre) suite. They have used the GIS based Eligibility tools for mainstream pupils, auto-allocation to existing contracts for mainstream and SEN pupils, and the advanced MTC pre-Optimiser to review their mainstream and SEN contracts. As with all local authorities a key driver is improving the efficiency of their transport services. MTC is providing the tools to reduce cost while, in many cases, actually improving the service offering.