How Mapping & Navigation Tools Ensure Every Child Gets to and from School Safely

Did you know that school bus carriers operate the largest mass transportation fleet in the country with an estimated 480,000 yellow school buses traveling across the U.S. daily? In fact, the average school bus fleet is 2.5 times the size of all other forms of mass transportation combined! With 26 million students being transported on school buses everyday,  mapping and navigation for fleets and drivers is critical1.


Fleets with buses have a unique set of challenges:

  • Specific pick-up and drop off time windows
  • Need for efficient routing for bus utilization and quick, real-time route recalculation if a detour is required
  • Quick response  when a maintenance issue or emergency arises
  • Staying on-time by avoiding traffic and unsafe road conditions
  • Substitute driver learning curve
  • Parents or guardians wanting current location information or school arrival confirmation for their child(ren)


Mapping and navigation technology can have a significant positive impact on fleets who need to address these challenges in order to make their operations more efficient. From live visualization of bus locations to giving drivers voice guided turn-by-turn directions, fleets can build customized solutions that route and monitor buses or integrate navigation for efficiency, safety, and compliance.

We’ve worked with fleets and partners who specialize in K-12. Here are some of ALK’s mapping and routing features that have been built and incorporated to create a custom solution:


Mapping & Routing Examples

  • Build multi-stop route plans with advanced route optimization that incorporates stop time windows as well as side of street routing
  • Real-time tracking and monitoring of vehicles that include ETAs
  • Current traffic and weather display, including actual road surface conditions (wet, slippery, etc.) for advanced planning around potential delays and dangerous areas
  • Street-level satellite map views
  • Geofencing boundaries and locations for alerts when a driver enters or exits a pre-defined area
  • Route compliance and performance analysis, down to each bus


A companion solution to our web-based mapping and routing platform is CoPilot Professional, ALK’s voice guided, turn-by-turn GPS navigation. Built using the same location engine at its core, CoPilot will generate the same route plans with vehicle-specific restrictions, notify drivers of upcoming traffic congestion, and provide realistic ETAs.


  • Improved driver adoption and overall safety with a driver friendly user interface designed to reduce driver distraction
  • Seamless integration with leading fleet management solutions providing accurate ETAs to parents, schools or driver managers
  • Ideal for substitute drivers, new drivers and field trips
  • On-board maps stored locally on the device, providing offline navigation with quick route calculation and automatic re-route calculation


Our K-12 expert, Jon Spiewak, is currently at the NAPT (National Association for Pupil Transportation) 43rd Annual Summit. Get a guided tour of our mapping and navigation solutions on Tuesday, November 7 at booth 338.