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In Memory Of


Laura Leigh Thomas (May 31, 1966 – October 9, 2019)


Routing Data and More Making a parent app work correctly requires a


thorough understanding of routing data and real-time GPS data, Thien observed. That includes dealing with variations in the types of routes, such as regular home- to-school from routes, day variant routes, alternate drop-off and pick-up points, shuttles, transfers, and activity trips. “The app developer must thoroughly understand the types of routes that the software is capable of pro- ducing, and how those route types can affect the way drop-off times, pick-up times and ETAs of the bus to the stop are calculated and displayed,” he advised. The same goes for GPS data. The app developer must


Laura Leigh Thomas (Lori), 53, of Orlando, Florida gained her eternal wings on Wednesday, October 9, 2019. Laura (Lori) enjoyed her position at Bus Parts Experts as their Internet Sales Manager. Lori was an avid traveler who loved seeing the world. She played the guitar, had won an art scholarship, earned an accounting degree, served as an LPN at Florida Hospital, and was an aerobics instructor. Lori found


great joy in spending time with her family, her beloved dogs, and always doted on her two grandsons, Jude (13) and Jaxon (10).


Lori is preceded in death by her parents, Mary “Bernice” Bakes, William Lawrence Payne, Sr., and Dawson W. Bakes “Doc,” and two brothers, William L. “Willie” Payne Jr. and Samuel B. “Sambo” Payne. She is survived by her life partner, Thomas W. Carter, her children Jonathan “Jude” Mattingly (Newt), Samantha Jo Carter, and other children include Hayley Rae Carter-Fredrickson, Hunter W. Carter- Fredrickson, Chad Duke Carter, and Courtney J. Carter, and grandchildren Jude & Jaxon Mattingly. Her siblings are Pam Drury (Larry), Pat Payne, Gayla Clements (Doug), and Tracy Seabrooks (Jerry). Lori is also survived by numerous nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, and cousins.


understand how frequently data is being transmitted from the GPS device, the amount of time it takes for the data to travel from the GPS device, through the cell net- works, various servers, and finally reach the parent app. So the right timing and ongoing communication are


definitely keys. For example, “Initial routing accuracy prior to the school year is the key to ensure that changes are minimal throughout the rest of the year,” said Michael Boettcher, region manager for Durham School Ser- vices, which uses its own proprietary app tracker. The school bus contractor relies on timely commu-


nication during the summer and fall kick-off, with staff leveraging communication between district parent portals and the routing software to keep route changes and student additions flowing automatically. In addition, an IT liaison with parent company


National Express, LLC. works with local operations teams to ensure that student information and routing is in-sync. The employee also assists if system errors occur that require more technical attention than the local team is able to provide. Clarifying primary objectives and selecting the most





Nearly three-quarters of readers who provide school bus tracking apps (140 out of a total 171 responses to a magazine survey conducted in November) reported that parents and student riders have expressed “no opinion” about their satisfaction with the technology. Meanwhile, 16 percent said feedback is that the app is “OK/av- erage,” while 9 percent said they are “extremely happy” with the app. One percent have told the school district they are “not happy at all.”


buspartsexperts.com 34 School Transportation News • JANUARY 2020 Parts Experts_0120_HV.indd 1 11/15/19 10:19 AM


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