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UK’s largest school transport provider Kura launches self serve offering

Leading transport management provider Kura has implemented a new customer-focussed technology strategy as part of a revamped vision to deliver safer, greener, smarter travel for schools across the UK. 

Under the guidance of a refreshed management team, including recently-appointed CEO Godfrey Ryan, the company will for the first time make its proprietary software technology available to schools on a standalone, self-service basis or combined with a series of flexible service packages, depending on customer requirements.

Schools and multi-academy trusts (MATs) will still be able to fully outsource their transport operation to Kura, including route building, management or tracking if required, but in addition the business is now able to offer its innovative, technology through a lower cost, self serve package at any time of year. This will enable schools to measure, review and improve their existing school run transport operation.

This flexibility forms a key part of the new company focus based around providing Software as a Service (SaaS), which is designed with the future needs of schools at front of mind. Also as part of the refresh, the Transport2 brand name will revert to being the holding company only, meaning Kura will continue as the customer facing brand for the education sector and become the new brand for the business as a whole.

Godfrey Ryan, CEO of Kura, explains: “In allowing schools to select which services they want to use, we have put them firmly in the driving seat for building their own bespoke service which is more efficient and appropriately assembled to match their specific needs. One size rarely fits all and we have responded directly to what our customers are telling us they need.

“While this approach marks a departure for us, the central tenets of our proposition remain the same: we aim to provide safer, greener and smarter travel for schools across the independent and MAT sectors. The coming year is a challenging one to predict but we believe this reshaping of our core strategy puts us in the best possible position to meet changing customer needs and grow.”

“What we have done is to simplify all our services under one non-competing complimentary brand. The move will help us provide better focus on servicing the needs of our existing customers while enabling us to reach new customers in a direct way.”

Kura works with leading schools across the UK to facilitate a safer, greener, smarter school run. Operating across 400 travel routes, the business currently enables 11,000 children to travel to and from school safely each day.

Properly-managed shared school transport is the solution schools have long been crying out for 

Following research (21 Sept) from the RAC which found that the daily school run has been responsible for rush-hour traffic returning to pre-pandemic levels, with traffic volumes having soared by 55% compared with those seen in August, Godfrey Ryan, CEO of school transport expert Kura, discussing the reasons behind this, as well as how government support could help to reverse this damaging trend:

The news that morning traffic congestion has already returned to pre-pandemic levels is disappointing, but not surprising, with traffic volumes up 55% compared with August. We have long known that traffic from the school run is a major contributor to rush-hour traffic and toxic emissions, being responsible for one in four cars on the road during rush hour. 

Simply enough, government messaging has made millions of parents fearful of placing their children on shared and public transport, creating an over-reliance on cars and adding millions of vehicles to the roads in recent weeks. This has rapidly undone the clean air benefits measured throughout lockdown, creating toxic air pollution both on the roads and around the school gates – which is a major concern for almost half (48%) of parents.

Properly-managed shared school transport is the solution schools have long been crying out for. One 49-seater school coach can replace as many as 31 cars on the road, and safe, sanitised school transport supported by robust contact-tracing technology can be set up quickly which will significantly reduce the risk of exponential infection growth. We would urge the Government to consider the significant long-term benefits a little investment and support in this space would have on our schoolchildren, our roads and, indeed, the environment as a whole.

Godfrey Ryan, CEO of school transport specialist Kura

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