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How can pupils maintain safe social distancing while using school bus services?

Social distancing technology introduced to protect children on the school run 

School transport specialist Kura has updated its award-winning vehicle tracking and safeguarding technology, creating a tailored solution to help schoolchildren maintain safe social distancing while using school bus services. 

Kura’s smart registration software allows schools to keep track of exactly who has travelled on the bus each day, to facilitate contact tracing. Updates to the service and processes mean parents can be safe in the knowledge that their children will be the Government-mandated two metres apart from the next passenger. Through these measures, combined with adapted routes, schools will be able to safely transport pupils to and from school, while maintaining social distancing measures and minimising the risk of infection. 

Kura is further ensuring pupil safety with a range of additional precautionary measures. These include fully-contactless registration, with children tapping on and off the bus using their pre-assigned fobs, a cap on the number of students allowed to ride on each vehicle, and each vehicle being thoroughly sanitised between journeys. 

Kura harnesses powerful tracking and app technologies to provide schools with a safer, greener and more cost-efficient school run service, increasing pupil uptake of school transport, reducing the need for cars and in turn reducing traffic congestion, both on the roads and at the school gates. 

The business manages a virtual fleet of 30,000 vehicles and, pre-lockdown, Kura’s technology was in use over 300 travel routes, providing safe home to school services for 7,000 pupils daily. Kura also continues to provide home-to-school transport services to the children of key workers attending school throughout lockdown.

Using advanced geofencing technology, Kura allows schools and parents to keep track of when pupils get on and off the bus, while also providing transparent, real-time journey updates.  Schoolchildren can “tap” on and off the school bus using an NFC (Near Field Communication) fob. The system then notifies trusted family members, guardians or friends in real-time when the children are boarding or alighting, in turn significantly easing parental concerns about their children’s safety when travelling to and from school without parental supervision. 

Mathew Hassell, founder and CEO at Kura, said: 

“While children getting back into the classroom is crucial for their wellbeing and future prospects, this will not have come at a welcome time for many parents required to begin going back to work, they may not always have the time for the daily school run in current circumstances, and recent days have proven that public transport options cannot be relied upon.

“The UK coach and minibus industry has thousands of vehicles ready to go now, that can accommodate groups of passengers comfortably while maintaining safe social distancing measures. However, to make shared vehicles a viable option more needed to be done to enhance the safety of passengers on-board, which is why we’ve adapted our existing groundbreaking technology to specifically meet the needs of those who will need to travel to and from school over the coming months.

“With walking, cycling and public transport not logistically-viable for all in the current climate, shared, school-managed transport remains a safe, greener way for pupils to reliably get to and from school, if the right precautions are put in place. With the tens of thousands of suitable school vehicles currently sitting idle, there are more than enough vehicles to transport children safely.” 

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