Bus tracker

What is a Bus Tracker?

A Bus tracker is a tool used to locate where any bus within your fleet is at a certain point in time.
Historically, bus tracking has been achieved in various ways including individual bus drivers phoning in or recording their arrival times at destinations, or gyrometers measuring the movement of a bus compared to their known route. Live bus trackers are a huge improvement on traditional bus trackers and have far greater function and capabilities. Each system tended to be unique to one business, or even one route. With real time bus trackers you can keep tabs on your fleet whether you’re localised in one city such as Melbourne or Sydney, or operate fleets of buses across Australia.

Useful Information:

How Does a Real Time Bus Tracker Work?

Real time bus trackers work automatically, providing live update on bus locations. The live data is transferred to a centralised point through GPS and cellular triangulation. The live bus tracker data can then be accessed via bus tracking software to coordinate dispatches and ensure your bus fleet is operating effectively between arrivals and departures.

Typically, the bus tracking data can be accessed remotely, making bus fleet management easy.

Sophisticated real time bus trackers can provide accurate location data even when GPS signals are weak by making use of mobile networks to ensure bus operated businesses are able to:

  • Provide accurate departure and arrival estimates
  • Improve communication between fleet managers and bus drivers
  • Allow fleet managers to manage buses more effectively

With the people transportation industry being one of the most legislated industries, bus trackers are vital for those companies wanting to align business operations to transportation laws. Bus trackers help fleet managers to address all areas of legislation, including:

  • Driver behaviour – speeding
  • Vehicle maintenance
  • Driver fatigue
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Businesses That Benefit From Bus Tracking

If you use buses as part of your business in Australia, you will benefit from installing a real time bus tracker system. Below are just a few examples of businesses that utilise bus tracking:

real time bus tracker

School Bus Tracking

School buses tend to have two high usage periods in a day where timely arrivals and departures from stops are essential within a relatively small window. School bus fleets need to ensure that they are operating at optimum efficiency as there is no room for error on timing or location. Ultimately, live bus trackers allow fleet managers, schools, and parents to know where a bus is, when it will arrive, and whether it delivered the children to school on time.

Additionally, working with children and young people, safety has to be paramount. Real time bus trackers allow parents to be reassured and give peace of mind regarding the children’s welfare during their journey to and from school. Efficient record-keeping protects both drivers and children. Some live bus trackers allow monitoring of driver behaviour, such as speeding or excessive braking, meaning you can ensure all drivers are fit and safe for driving children.

Crucial to many school bus fleet managers, budgets can be more effectively managed with the use of a real time bus tracker. Bus tracking allows you to identify where the fleet is inefficient and how fuel is wasted. This might be through identifying underutilised routes, or prolonged idling.

Tour Bus Companies:

Tour bus companies rely on the integrity and skill of their individual drivers to ensure their reputation shines. The business is dependent on knowing that the tour bus makes the appropriate stops, at the right time, and for the right length of time. A bus tracker in Sydney would allow a Sydney-based tour bus company to ensure accurate and timely stops at all key sights from the Opera House to the Harbour Bridge, and a bus tracker in Melbourne would monitor all stops from the Botanic Gardens to the Cricket Grounds. Overall, this not only improves customer service but also has the potential to reduce wasted fuel and make for more efficient routes.

In addition, and key for the tour bus operator’s reputation and business profile, as well as for insurance implications and health and safety of employees, a real-time bus tracker allows you to monitor driver behaviour and get alerts and reports allowing you to provide training, or feedback, to continuously improve service.

Public Transport Bus Operators:

Public transport bus operators stand to gain enormously from live bus trackers, especially in the larger cities of Sydney and Melbourne. Operating a bus fleet for long periods of time means fleet managers need to minimise waste and make the system as efficient as possible.

Live bus trackers make this possible by providing accurate information on arrival and departure times. This enables bus operators to keep passengers informed of predicted arrival and departure times including allowance for any traffic delays. Customers receive a better service because they know exactly when their bus will arrive.

Further, public transport bus operators stand to benefit from bus by increasing efficiency and so reducing one of their greatest costs: fuel. Fuel costs can be further reduced by monitoring and reducing idling time. Maintenance can be sensibly planned and prepared for, and bus driver behaviour can be monitored, allowing you to be sure your drivers are operating safely.

Coach Hire:

Coach hire operatives tend to utilise coaches on numerous different routes from day to day. Knowing that the coach is taking the most efficient route given traffic and road conditions can be tricky once the coach has left the depot. Real-time bus trackers allow fleet managers to know where their coaches are at any one time and to instil good driver behaviour. Coach drivers particularly can be at fault for leaving the engine idling for long and unnecessary periods, a live bus tracker will allow you to minimise this.

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Real Time Bus Tracker Case Study

bus tracking

Southwest Minibuses operate a fleet of 24 minibuses, buses and coaches and have a range of business functions including school pick-ups and event transport. Staggeringly, the business estimates that it is saving in excess of $1600 per month as a result of introducing the Fleetmatics REVEAL bus tracking system across their fleet. The real time bus tracker allows those in charge of operations and customer contact to see their buses on a live map, including information about what those buses are doing (for example, are they stopped, or idling, or en route).

Since introducing the Fleetmatics live bus tracker system, Southwest Minibuses have reported a huge 70% drop in the amount of idling time across the fleet from around 80 hours per week to around 25 hours per week. Their Director, Jay Raja has stated: “Thanks to Fleetmatics, we quickly realised how widespread idling was.”

In addition, the Fleetmatics bus tracking system has allowed the business to make route optimisation savings as well as improving customer service and customer safety.

Bus Tracker Reviews & Comparisons

Fleetmatics★★★★★Compare Prices
ctrack-logo-small★★★★★Compare Prices
mtdata review★★★★½Compare Prices

Below we have reviewed three of the best real time bus trackers. Discover which tracker is best suited to your business.

Fleetmatics REVEAL

Fleetmatics real time bus tracker

Fleetmatics Reveal ReviewRating
Ease of Use★★★★
Customer Support★★★★
Value for Money★★★★
Reviewed by Global Positioning Specialists10/10/2016

Fleetmatics REVEAL is one of the most popular and holistic live bus trackers on the market for Australian bus fleets. Installed in over 700,000 vehicles worldwide it offers a number of different features and benefits as a real time bus tracker.

Features and Benefits of Fleetmatics REVEAL include:

  • Mobile App: you can access and utilise data gained by the bus tracker not only from a desktop but also on the move from your Android, iPhone or iPad.
  • Key Fob Driver ID: The Fleetmatics key fob works at identifying each driver using each vehicle, making the data tailored to specific drivers allowing for better staff management.
  • Custom Reporting: Reveal allows you to tailor reports to suit the specific needs of your business. Reports include fuel, activity, timecard, summaries and driving behaviour.
  • Real-Time Alerts: due to the custom reporting and the key fob driver ID fleet managers can get real time data on key performance indicators such as excess idling, speeding, and late starts, increasing the efficiency of the fleet.
  • Geo-fencing: Geo-fence technology allows you to see exactly how a vehicle’s time is spent within a specified area.
  • Live Mapping: being able to see the whereabouts, behaviour, movements and activity of every vehicle in the fleet on a live map is excellent for overall fleet management and efficiency as well as customer service.
  • Bus Tracker Dashboards: The dashboard function enables fleet managers to get an overview of the entire fleet including performance in dollars, as well as specific drivers with a driver scorecard.
  • Fleet Maintenance: Fleet maintenance can be managed and scheduled thereby reducing breakdowns, fuel costs and potentially your insurance premiums.
  • Replay Function: Fleet managers can use the bus tracking system to see exactly what happened on a historical route.
  • Fuel Card Integration: The Fleetmatics Reveal system can be integrated with their Fuel Card system to enable efficiencies in costs and your carbon footprint.

The Fleetmatics REVEAL bus tracking system is a fully integrated system allowing you to make cost savings and increase efficiency across your bus fleet.

cTrack Bus & Coach Tracker

cTrack bus tracker

cTrack Bus & Coach ReviewRating
Ease of Use★★★★
Customer Support★★★★
Value for Money★★★★★
Reviewed by Global Positioning Specialists10/10/2016

cTrack have a strong track record for providing GPS fleet tracking solutions. Over one million cTrack trackers have been installed in vehicles globally. They understand that the people transportation industry is highly legislated and have created a bus and coach tracking solution to address the ever evolving legislation, ranging from driver fatigue to bus maintenance.

The main feature of Ctrack’s bus and coach tracking system is the Ctrack PTM. Ctrack PTM (Public Transport Module) has been specifically designed for the public transportation industry, the PTM system offers an holistic solution to bus fleet management. Not only will fleet managers be able to track buses in real time but system allows for the management of:

  • Ticketing
  • CCTV systems
  • Digital displays on both the inside and outside of the bus or coach
  • Audio announcements

Further features and benefits of the cTrack bus tracker include:

  • Live Mapping: C-Track enables you to visualise your buses wherever they are in real-time using their live web-based tracking. The real-time bus tracker uses both satellite and street view meaning you can truly understand the status of your buses at any point.
  • Cloud-Based: The system is accessed through the cloud, meaning you can access it at anytime from anywhere.
  • Replay Function: The replay function enables you to review and replay certain routes or incidents so that you can build an accurate picture of a specific vehicle, route or driver.
  • Vehicle maintenance: The maintenance functionalities allow fleet managers to manage the service and maintenance of buses and coaches as well as managing Rego and driver license details.
  • Dispatch Tools: Designed for dispatch based businesses, the dispatch tools of C-Track can prove invaluable for certain bus-based fleets as they allow you to amend and address problems as they happen.
  • Driver Behaviour & Fatigue Reports: Safety can be improved and fuel costs cut though driver performance monitoring, including behaviour such as speeding, excessive idling and driver fatigue reports.
  • Geo-fencing: Geo-fence technology allows you to see exactly how a vehicle’s time is spent within a specified area.
  • Reporting: C-Track offer world-class report functionality which can be operated on both an ad hoc and automated basis.
  • Dashboard: In addition to the reporting function, fleet managers can have a useful overview of key performance indicators using the dashboard functionality.

cTrack is a popular choice for real-time bus tracking. They provide an intuitive system which is easy to use and set up and has been proven to reduce fleet costs whilst improving productivity. Furthermore, the Ctrack PTM system is fully customisable, making this one of the best bus trackers on the market.

MTData Bus & Coach

mtdata bus tracking

MTData Bus & Coach ReviewRating
Ease of Use★★★★
Customer Support★★★★
Value for Money★★★★
Reviewed by Global Positioning Specialists10/10/2016

MTData offer a flexible system to bus and coach operatives for their bus tracking requirements. A pro to this system is that it can interface with systems that you already have in place for your fleet.

Features and Benefits of MTData Bus & Coach include:

  • Driver Safety and Compliance: MTData can be used to plan driver schedules as well as to alert both fleet managers and drivers on when breaks are due, manage driver behaviour, and increase driver safety through a man-down function.
  • Comprehensive Tracking: This real time bus tracker uses both GPS and cellular technology to ensure you have access to accurate arrival and departure times, and driver behaviour. In addition, all data can be seen through both a dashboard display with overall performance as well as specific reports.
  • Dispatch Functionality: The dispatch functionality allows fleet managers to keep their buses running on time as well as providing pre-defined stops.
  • Camera Options: Add-ons can include cameras both outside the bus and within the driver cab, meaning that you can record and monitor footage with a view to improving customer and driver safety.
  • Engine Management: The MTData system provides alerts for scheduled maintenance as well as utilising the on board diagnostics and odometer readings to predict and prevent problems.
  • Two Way Communications: A driver screen and phone allows for both two-way communications and reporting.

The MTData Bus and Coach bus tracker is a useful tool for improving passenger safety, reducing operational costs as well as ensuring you can operate an excellent service.

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