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 - 2020-2021 End of Year Data Collection

TDTIMS for the 2020-2021 school year is a special end of year data collection and shortened data comparison following the reopening of schools in North Carolina during the spring of 2021. The May 2021 TDTIMS Data will not be used for Annual Funding Allotments but still needs submitted for other state reporting requirements.

It is our intent that the submission reflects routes similar to the students being transported during the more active spring semester and, if feasible, the routes active during the end of year student count.

Accordingly, it is necessary that an UPSTU has occurred since April 1st, 2021 and that all Bus Runs and Routes process successfully within the TIMS data submitted.

View the TDTIMS Webinar from May 6th, 2021 presented by Kevin Hart from NCSU-ITRE. The webinar provides an overview of the irregular and abbreviated TDTIMS Process for the 2020-2021 School Year.

TDTIMS Webinar - 2021 Submission Process

Access Passcode: Kp%d2YS+

Below are links to download the 2021 TDTIMS Workbook and documents about Preparing TIMS Data and Instructions for Submitting TDTIMS.

TIMS Data Diagnostics

The 2019 Preparing Your Data document provides a detailed view of All TDTIMS Diagnostics, beyond those referenced for 2021.

  • Preparing your data for TDTIMS - NT / SQL (2019-2020)

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:

Preparing Plan-B Routes in a COVID19 Environment

TIMS Webinar from June 24, 2020 covering TIMS Data Preparation for potential limited capacity Plan B School Bus Routes. (download the Webinar or PDF Presentation)

ITRE-TIMS Webinar: Plan B Route Preparation
The Webinar Covers the Following Topics

    1. Using a Single Database for Each Group of AB Students
    2. Managing A and B Databases
      1. Importing Special Plan B Codes to Identify AB Bus Riders
        1. EMU Process - Batch Fill User Field
        2. EMU Process - Deassigning Students from A and B Databases
        3. EMU Process - Deassigning Empty Stops from A and B Databases
    3. Evaluating Plan B Routing Requirements
      1. Ridership Counts by Schools and Neighborhoods
      2. Number of Bus Runs Required (Loads)
      3. Improving Bus Runs
        1. Resequencing Stops, Moving Stops Between Runs, Creating More Runs
        2. Designing Shorter Runs to Improve Route Pairing
      4. Analyzing School Supervision Time Required Before/After Bells
Coordinate A and B Database Info with GPS Vendors

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