Geographical Information System Rural Bus Routing Model for Rural Communities
Department of Agriculture
Agency Tracking Number:
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Small Business Information
3420 S. 31st St., Lincoln, NE, 68502
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
AbstractRural school districts face major challenges each year creating and managing school bus routes and budgeting funds to pay for increasing transportation costs. Currently, many rural schools design their school bus routes by acquiring a school district map, placing a stickpin on the where each student lives, and then creating the bus routes with string connecting the stickpins. In the 1997/98 school year, Nebraska schools spent almost $60,000,000 on transportation costs alone. At the same time that transportation costs have risen, rural schools have consolidated to form larger districts in order to survive and still serve the public. Some of these large school districts require buses to travel hundreds of miles each school day. Phase I research would identify the transportation needs of rural schools and develop a bus routing model for the Geographical Information System (GIS) to meet those needs. This model would allow the schools to design the most efficient routes, thus reduce fuel consumption and emissions. In addition, the safety of the children will be increased because GIS will identify dangerous spots, like railroad crossings, turn-arounds, and hazards intersections. If transportation costs could be reduced, rural schools would save millions of dollars each year.
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