The North Carolina Pupil Transportation Association (NCPTA) held the first statewide school bus routing competition at its Transposium on June 27. Participants competed to produce the most efficient routes using a set of training data representing a summer school scenario. Read full Article here..

Shown here are the top contestants with (from left) Sam Bull, Edulog COO; Edulog consultant Derek Graham; Kevin Hart, TIMS project leader for ITRE; and Andy Leibenguth, Edulog's NC account manager

TIMS Support by LEA

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School Bus Routing with TIMS...

. . . The Transportation Information Management System (TIMS) is a unique collaboration between the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute, The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) and the Institute for Transportation Research and Education (ITRE) at North Carolina State University. It is an ongoing statewide project that concentrates on maintaining and improving upon efficiency in school bus transportation at the district level. Each district operates standardized, comprehensive computer-assisted school bus routing and scheduling software. By maintaining student, transportation and street network data at the local level, district personnel have access to the most accurate and current data available. TIMS Support Staff at NCSU and UNC Charlotte provide daily software and technical support to individual TIMS data managers across the state. Continued here...

The Service Indicator Report

Optimization tools in TIMS are used to improve the efficiency of transportation services. In addition to the benefit derived from the optimization tools, uniform reporting from TIMS makes possible the production of LEA‐level and statewide data. In this document, data from all LEAs have been collected and summarized. The goal is to give school transportation providers and local policy makers a tool that will help them assess the quality of the services they provide.

Current and past Service Indicator Reports are available here:

TDTIMS- November 2022 Data Collection

TDTIMS is due by Monday November 7, 2022.

This is a HARD DEADLINE for the 2022-2023 school year as this data needs to be incorporated for funding purposes in the current year. If not submitted on time, DPI will be contacting LEA Finance Officers the week of November 7th regarding the late TDTIMS submission and the potential financial impact.

For the 2022-2023 School Year, we will return to the traditional November TDTIMS Data Collection. The TDTIMS Audit is a Comparison of Planned Bus Routes in TIMS to real world data from the TD2 and TD2R submitted by the LEA Transportation Director. The purpose of TDTIMS is to ensure computerized bus routes are a close approximation of routes being performed daily. If so, then TDTIMS data can be used in the annual funding allocation process for your LEA and will be included in the Annual Pupil Transportation Service Indicators Report (available online in 2023).

NEW TDTIMS DIAGNOSTIC for Student Stop Distance
The 2022-2023 TDTIMS Process will include a NEW DIAGNOSTIC for Student Distance to Bus Stop. A deeper dive into annual TIMS Data has identified some bus riders being assigned to stops that are many miles from their home. The issue is primarily related to the lack of Alternate AM/PM Locations for students riding the bus to/from a non-home address, afterschool program, boys and girls club, relative’s house, staff children, etc.

Without the Alternate Destination Addresses properly managed, TIMS is showing some children walking 10+ miles to their assigned bus stop. The New Stop Distance Diagnostic will identify students with extreme stop distances so TIMS Operators can research and correct these invalid assignments prior to submitting TDTIMS. Instructions for this new diagnostic will be released by Mid-October. Stay Tuned.

TDTIMS Webinar
The 2022-2023 TDTIMS Overview & Webinar is scheduled for Thursday October 20th from 9:30am -11:30am. Transportation Directors and TIMS Staff can register for the Webinar here:
https://ncsu.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJckf-2hqT4tH9ORP7M4ouj-oGCiemZvPNOI

Prior to this, you can view the 2021 TDTIMS Documents and Webinar from October 2021 (scroll down on this page).

The Webinar provides an overview of TDTIMS Diagnostics as well as the general steps for completing the November 2021 TDTIMS Submission.

These links will be updated with 2022 information as it becomes available.

2021 TDTIMS Webinar (ppt available here)
2021 Access Passcode:  0XFC%zt@

Below are links to documents outlining the steps for …
1) NEW Diagnostic: Student Stop Distance > Half-Mile
2) Checking for Bad Powerschool IDs (all LEAs)
3) Preparing Your TIMS Data
4) Instructions for Submitting TDTIMS

The 'Preparing Your TIMS Data' document provides a detailed overview of All TDTIMS Diagnostics that will help pinpoint any errors or highlight information that needs corrected. Please Contact your TIMS Support Office at NC State or UNC Charlotte for questions, concerns or assistance with TDTIMS Data Diagnostics

2022 TIMS Planning Webinar

TIMS planning Webinar from March 2, 2022 covering the variety of successful strategies used to properly plan for Summer School 2022 and Back to School Bus Routes for August.

ITRE-TIMS Webinar: Recording & PPT - Recording Link (Access Password: vHP*9mgS)

The Webinar Covers the Following Topics:

Summer School Operations & Data Collection

  • Custom Student Screens in PowerSchool for Transportation
  • Collecting True Summer School Ridership Information
  • Preparing Preliminary Summer School Routes
  • Finalizing Bus Routes and Preparing for Day 1

Back to School Operations and Data Collection

  • Managing Expected Ridership
  • Reassessing Transportation for All Students
  • Preparing Preliminary Back to School Routes
  • Bus Route Analysis, Improvements and Driver Shortages
  • TIMS Student Promotions & YET Data

May 4th Webinar: Recording & PPT - (Access Passcode: %H7bE96a)

TIMS Summer School Data Management Demo, Q&A, Tips & Tricks

LEAs that assign students to different school buildings for summer programs are strongly encouraged to review the information.

The TIMS Summer School Data Management Demo provides a walkthrough of common strategies used across the state to manage summer school assignments and bus route information between PowerSchool and TIMS. Available Tools and Options are discussed that can help streamline summer school data management in TIMS and the best practices for communicating and coordinating with schools, staff, students and parents.

New TIMS Extract Method - February 2021

Due to North Carolina switching to the Core Contacts section in PowerSchool , the TIMS Extract must now be acquired from the Data Export Manager in PowerSchool instead of the traditional NCDPI Reports Section.

Below is the Announcement from PowerSchool Support from Friday, January 22, 2021. It contains instructions for Local PowerSchool Coordinators to complete.

Links for PowerSchool Coordinators:

Links for TIMS Operators:

 

TIMS Reporting TIP!

Have you ever wanted to display the phone number in your reports with dashes separating the numbers? If so, try inserting one of the following codes in the phone number field of your report.

For 999-999-9999 formatting use:

Left(allt(home_phone),3)+"-"+substr(allt(home_phone),4,3)+"-"+right(allt(home_phone),4)

For (999)999-9999 formatting use:

"("+Left(allt(home_phone),3)+")"+substr(allt(home_phone),4,3)+"-"+right(allt(home_phone),4)

Safeguarding school buses: Rail crossings critical

Modern school buses are some of the safest vehicles on the road, but even these sturdy conveyances can be at risk in a collision with a train. Coordination between two N.C. state agencies helps give more information to school bus drivers across the state to help prevent this kind of accident.

Nearly 13,000 public school buses operate in N.C. counties that have railroad tracks, and more than 50 percent of these buses cross a railroad track at least once a day. For buses that cross railroads, the average number of crossings is nearly six a day. In dense urban districts with lots of tracks, the average number of daily crossings for buses can exceed a dozen. Adding all those crossings statewide totals nearly 45,000 times each school day, and those buses carry more than 600,000 students, with an average of 14 students on each bus at the time of crossing. Article continues here

** Important RR crossing Webinar conducted on 8/18/2016 - click here to access

download the webinar powerpoint presentation

Articles of Interest

NC Case Studies on Routing Efficiencies pdf document

Relevant Links & Documents

Technical Training and Support provided by:

ITRE at NCSU UNC-Charlotte Urban Institute