Figuring Out School Bus Routes Is More Complicated Than Ever. Districts Are Turning to Technology for Help.

Arlington, like many other systems across the country, is turning to technological solutions in the face of staggering transportation challenges brought on by the pandemic…

“The more efficient we can be with routing the better off we are given all the other challenges,” Haldeman said.

Instead, Haldeman turned to Dynamic Ideas Routing, a company founded by MIT researchers who worked with Boston Public Schools to route buses with an algorithm that saved the school system $5 million. Dynamic Ideas is helping districts around the country plan for all the different scenarios schools might encounter this year by using algorithms that can show tradeoffs between policies like those that prioritize in-person learning for students learning the English language and those with disabilities, along with the consequences of tiered start times and staggered scheduling for different classrooms.