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Bus Routing

Geodatabase Development for a Comprehensive School Transportation Management System in Detroit Public Schools

Going Beyond AVL - A Comprehensive School Transportation Management System

Automatic vehicle locating (AVL) is a necessity for cost effective fleet management. But AVL functions alone will not guarantee achieving that goal. Cost effective fleet management and efficient resource utilization can only be accomplished through a smart integration of AVL with the business rules that guide fleet operation. Many of these rules can be enhanced with innovative GIS technologies.

The SMRT - Vehicle Management System developed by the Office of Student Transportation at Detroit Public Schools is illustrated as a case study integrating GIS and AVL in school bus fleet management.

In the presentation, we will illustrate how the integration of student enrollment data, home addresses, school programs and building data were analyzed with street networks data and school boundaries to determine transportation eligibility, ridership, bus stops and bus runs. Only when student data and locations are integrated, can GIS routing functions be used to optimize bus routes and to make efficient bus schedules. Download the Presentation.

How can SMRT Technology "GPS and GIS" facilitate the Mission? 
GPS - keeps track of the vehicles via Trunk Radio system
GIS & Information Management Applications perform spatial analysis, routing, scheduling and reporting

What are the Information Management Issues in Student Transportation?

  • Transportation Requests Data Management
  • Daily Ridership (determine eligibility via policy, SPEDs, health requests, supplemental education)
  • Scheduling (things change daily)
  • Runs & Routes (locations, street network, stops)
  • Performance Analysis (Safe, Efficient, Timely?)

System Architecture - ArcGIS 9.x & Extensions

  • Back-End Applications (Server Based): 

Tools to perform the heavy-duty data processing tasks and complex spatial analysis functions required by the front-end applications

Designed for deployment on desktop workstations and servers residing at DPS offices.

  • Database Layers:   

The central structures required for information storage, data sharing and data mining

A common geodatabase structure shared between departments, links back-end applications and front-end applications and allows for rapid development of new  applications

  • Front-End Applications (Web Based Intranet/Internet):

Tools to support specific business rules and functions required by each DPS department

  • Mobile Applications:

Supports field-based functions for departments that need off-site access to data and require write access in the field.

"Data Driven / Information Driven" System

Common Database Framework is a distributed geodatabase using

  • Microsoft's SQL Server
  • IBM's AS400 DB2
  • ESRI Spatial Database Engine - ArcSDE  

Common Database design incorporates a loosely coupled distributed  system, which includes:

  • Students Geodatabase
  • Transportation Geodatabase
  • Street Centerline Geodatabase
  • School Buildings Geodatabase

Geodatabase structure allows quick development of additional applications, which can be easily integrated into the GPS/GIS database framework.

Back-end Sub-system (Server Based)

Portion of the system that performs the complex operational and analysis functions and employs the GPS/GIS functionality and business logic on a workstation and on mobile devices.

  • Data Check-in
  • Eligibility Analysis
  • Routing
  • Scheduling
  • Routing Analysis
  • Performance Reports

Built on ArcGIS 9.x software capabilities and incorporates Network Analyst 

Customized ArcGIS using Visual Basic and Visual C++ coding

In order to effectively and efficiently manage the resources allocated to school districts, in support of student achievement, the integration of many different data layers is essential.

Knowing where a bus is without knowing where it should be is a useless endeavor - AVL is not enough!

The data integration power of GIS coupled with the location power of GPS provide the backbone for a system that enables school administrators to more efficiently and effectively allocate resources in support of student achievement in any school district.

Read here to learn more...