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The ESCNJ Offers Innovative Software To Strengthen School Transportation

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Discussing new transportation software on ESCNJ's Better Together podcast (l-r) Bus. Adm. Patrick M. Moran, Artha System CEO Venku Mandalap, Host David Sandler, and Asst. Bus. Adm. Robert Petrocola Credits: Courtesy of the Educational Services Commission of New Jersey
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New software promising greater speed and efficiency for school transportation departments is now available through the Educational Services Commission of New Jersey (ESCNJ).

The software is the result of a two year collaboration between the Princeton based Artha Systems, an international supplier of business management software, and the ESCNJ.

“The software is unlike anything on the market today for use in school transportation, and will be a tremendous resource for school districts, and welcomed by parents as well,” said ESCNJ Business Administrator Patrick M. Moran on ESCNJ’s Better Together podcast.

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The entire podcast, hosted by ESCNJ Coordinator of Communications David Sandler, can be heard at https://www.teachertube.com/audio/new-transportation-software-from-escnj-11537.

“The software incorporates cutting edge, cloud based technology, and will likely have an even greater impact on school transportation than we can even imagine at this point,” said Mr. Moran.

The ESCNJ has been searching for comprehensive school transportation software packages that includes a billing component for several years, Mr. Moran said.

“The combination of our Transportation Coordinator Chris Zarate providing Artha with information about the key transportation issues, and recently hired Assistant Business Administrator Robert Petrocola’s  IT background  took this project across the finish line,” Mr. Moran added.

Along with the billing component, the software includes GPS turn-by-turn navigation so school bus drivers can avoid congestion and identify the most efficient routes when picking up or dropping off students from home and school, said Artha Systems Founder and Chief Executive Officer Venku Mandalap, who also appeared on the podcast.  Mr. Mandalap said parents will be able to access the software through a phone or computer app to obtain scheduling information, drop off, and pick up points, and a host of other features.

Parent and vendor portals, and online route bidding are some additional modules included in the software,” Mr. Mandalap said.

Mr. Mandalap said transportation supervisors will be delighted with the functionality of the product.

“This software is extremely user friendly,” he said.

“If you can operate a computer, you will have no problem using the software after initial training,” said Mr. Mandalap.   

Assistant Business Administrator Robert Petrocola agreed, adding the ESCNJ will offer training and welcomes the input of end-users.

“The software can be modified as needed, so the training is an opportunity to further understand the conditions faced by the people in the trenches” said Mr. Petrocola, also appearing on the podcast.

For additional information about the new software, Mr. Moran said school transportation officials should contact him at pmoran@escnj.k12.nj.us or 732-777-9848 Ext. 3120.

The ESCNJ operates six Middlesex County schools for students ages 3-21 with autism, multiple disabilities, and at-risk behaviors, in addition to providing special education services to school districts statewide. The largest Educational Services Commission in New Jersey, the ESCNJ also coordinates transportation services for over 10,000 students across the state, and manages a 1,200 member Co-op Pricing System, the largest cooperative buying program in New Jersey.

 

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