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“One of the things you want to do is check with your IT people and include them in the [software selection] process, so that you can make sure you’ve


got the power to run whatever program it is that you’re buying.”


—Mario Garcia, Orange Unified School District in Southern California


extensive,” Garcia recalled. “Now, our software gives us customized information about each vehicle. It’s just a click away, and it will give us what we need to know, detailed wiring schematics—if we need them—torque values, technical bul- letins and recall notices. It’s a whole different perspective than what it used to be.” He encouraged fleet managers


to look for and take advantage of opportunities to provide mechanics with software and computer train- ing. “As technology changes, you have to be able to keep up with the times, especially as buses get newer and have more features,” Garcia stressed. Currently, Orange Unified is seeking funding to purchase electric-powered buses. Garcia is already weighing the software needs that will come along with those vehicles. “That’s going to


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be new software that we’ll have to implement on a daily basis,” he commented. “With our CNG buses, we took advantage of free training that the Southern California Gas Company was offering at the time and sent our techs. I believe it was a weeklong program, but they got comfortable and actually under- stood the animal, if you will.” Beyond the transportation


department, the district administration also may appreciate if maintenance software comes from the same vendor that supplies the fleet’s routing program, Coughlin’s eighth rule. Such streamlining may allow for better cost accounting, too. “One of the things you want to


do is check with your IT people and include them in the process, so that you can make sure you’ve got the power to run whatever program it is that you’re buying,” he added.


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50 School Transportation News • FEBRUARY 2020


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