Project overview The challenge
The walking school bus is a volunteer service to take school children to and from school from a designated starting and finishing point. Being a volunteer program, the operators relied on a WhatsApp group to manage and track students who are attending the walking school bus.
Everything was done manually and hard to track and would often lead to many hours spent by the volunteers making sure that the walking school bus was operational. The main requirement was to have a centralised location to manage and view rostering and attendance and also look at automating some tasks to reduce the effort needed from volunteers.
The new app has the ability to edit and view the daily and weekly rosters as well as automating the attendance and tracking view. Parents and volunteers can now easily see who’s attending a particular bus route and when a person is scheduled.
With the features of the app, especially the attendance view, it’s easier to get an overview of the adults to children ratio and makes it easy to allocate resources where needed. This helps with the smooth operation of the service, as well as saving volunteer time which equates to happy users.
For added safety and piece of mind, GPS broadcast and live tracking feature is integrated to the app. Whenever the school bus embarks on a journey – the lead volunteer would activate a beacon / GPS service which allows the parents to track the walking school bus in real-time as well as receiving a push notification whenever the group passes a designated GPS checkpoint.
Everything is now automatic and reduces the manual process of attendance and rostering. Communication, tracking and rostering are all done centrally in the app. With all the app data being synced to the cloud, all information presented in the app is always up to date and backed up, thus reducing the amount of manual work needed from the volunteers especially in the area of rostering and communication.
The mobile application was designed in conjunction with G&H IT Solutions, who implemented the designs using React Native which allows publishing and release for both Android and iOS.