Less time tracking buses, more time serving students.
How important was collaboration when designing the FirstView® suite of products?
Extremely. When we began to develop FirstView, we conducted nationwide focus groups asking both parents and administrators for their transportation pain points. We received meaningful feedback. The study enabled a thorough and open dialog. Administrators wanted bus tracking and easy communication. Parents gave us insight into what they would like to have included in the app’s capabilities. Specifically an app that would let them know where the bus is and that keeps their personal information secure. Many of the suggestions from parents and administrators were implemented in FirstView.
What operational advantages does the FirstView District Dashboard give school administrators?
We learned from the focus groups that administrators do not know when buses arrive at school in the morning or when drop-offs occur in the afternoon. They have parents calling and wanting to know where the buses are. Many principals stay after school to answer those calls. The FirstView District Dashboard solves this problem.
Administrators have the ability to see real-time bus locations with an ETA for bus arrival time. We created a tool that is also a communication platform. Principals can send out messages about a specific school or route. Administrators can also send messages on a district level and push out messages to parents. These messages can be as specific or as general as desired. Direct communication with parents through FirstView cuts down on the number of calls to schools and district offices and improves operational efficiency.
What is the feedback that parents have provided on the FirstView Parent App?
The parents appreciate the app’s ability to estimate the bus arrival at the stop, so their children are not waiting outside for 20 or 30 minutes in 15-degree weather. Like the District Dashboard, the parent app allows them to know not only that the bus is going to be late, but also why it’s late. Parents want transparency. They want to know what’s going on, and the FirstView app provides that for them. Parents do not have to call the school for bus information because they have it in their hands.
FirstView has a unique, dedicated customer support group to address questions or concerns from participating parents. Whether it is suggestions, questions or comments, a parent can communicate with us through a feedback button in the app. We catalog all comments. We are proud to have been able to incorporate many of these actionable suggestions for improvements and new features into the FirstView Parent App.
For more information, visit firststudentinc.com/technology/firstview-bus-tracking or our Facebook page at facebook.com/FirstStudent or tweet us at twitter.com/FirstStudentInc