The past 12 months have presented BusRight with unimaginable challenges and opportunities. In 2021, we welcomed several new BusRighters to the team, strengthened our foundation for an industry-leading product suite, expanded our customer base across six new states, and raised $2.5M in seed funding. Jump on board, buckle up, and let us safely navigate you through our 2021.
The BusRight team is built at the intersection of institutional knowledge, technology talent, and a relentless obsession for the customer experience. This year, we were honored to fill a few new seats on our bus and promote veterans to new career opportunities at BusRight.
- Phil joined as our Co-founder & Chief Product Officer. Phil has served as a K-12 technology leader at Broward County Schools, NYC Public Schools, and Greenwich Public Schools. He has managed fleets of thousands of school buses and has been an integral part of BusRight since day one.
- Keanu joined BusRight as our first Senior Account Executive. He brings years of experience selling school bus technology at Zonar, developing best-in-class sales processes, and a deep level of customer care. His charisma is hard to match, and his knowledge of the student transportation industry is unparalleled.
- Fred joined BusRight as our first Senior Software Engineer. He has served as an engineering leader at Block Chaser, Walkthrough, & CPX Security and is committed to organizing our nation’s student transit data to support a safer and more efficient future for our most precious cargo.
- Suzanne joined BusRight to bring product design best practices to an overlooked industry and continue the promise we made on day one towards building a user-first product.
- Noah was promoted to be our first Product Manager after serving as a Web Engineer during his first year at BusRight. Noah’s background in both design and engineering makes him uniquely qualified to be the glue that links our various projects and customer initiatives together to achieve our mission.
- Neil was promoted to Head of Operations after serving in a Product Success role during his first year at BusRight. He leads customer success, designed and implemented our hardware stack, and acts as a sales engineer in his free time.
We are building an all-in-one, intuitive platform to empower the modern student transportation operation. Below are some of the product advancements we made in 2021 to increase safety & efficiency in BusRight-powered fleets.
- Industry Leading GPS Ping Rate: Our 2-second ping rate brings the industry the most “real-time” GPS offering available. Every second is crucial in student transportation, and every detail is now captured with BusRight.
- Live & Projected ETAs: Enhanced ETAs make it easier for transportation departments to route, manage, and optimize their fleets.
- Student Data: Student data is now integrated into our driver platform, giving bus drivers all the info they need as they pick up & drop off students.
- Parent App: Our redesigned parent experience now enables parents/guardians to view the live location of their child’s bus in a safe, secure, and simple way. We’ve also built in-app Spanish translations to increase accessibility and serve new markets.
- Seamless Routing: Our view-only, multi-routing canvas was launched as a foundation for our upcoming, next-generation routing platform.
- Actual vs. Planned Routes: BusRight users can now easily compare routes they build against what is actually driven.
- Route Sheets: Our new, customizable route sheet PDFs help administrators transition from traditional pen & paper routing.
- Next-Generation Hardware: BusRight’s newest, industry-leading hardware stack features Samsung’s Tab Active 3 & a state-of-the-art docking system — a massive step forward for student transportation technology.
Student transportation spent much of 2021 in the limelight during community discourse, school board rooms, and government infrastructure bills over the past year. The industry has never seen so much attention and appreciation, and this is just the beginning.
- Increased Funding: We uncovered state funding (in states like New York) available for “computerized bus routing systems, GPS, standalone systems integrated into computerized routing software, and tablets…used for routing.” Furthermore, over $122B has been set aside for schools as part of the American Recovery Plan with the intention to spend the capital on solutions to support this next generation of K-12 education (including transportation).
- Fleet Electrification: Less than 1% of the over 500k school buses in the United States are electrified. $5B has been allocated in Biden’s Infrastructure Bill to begin electrifying our nation’s school bus fleet. The Bill put the school bus at the center of attention in the K-12 industry — driving further investment into a space that has been overlooked and underserved for too long.
- Driver Shortage: While a shortage of drivers is crippling communities nationwide, we are honored to play a part in helping them bounce back by accelerating driver training by providing dynamic route navigation. As the Governor of New York announced this month, New York is encouraging “creative and innovative ways to offer a wide array of benefits for school bus drivers that were previously not considered,” and “schools can use federal funds to provide these benefits.” You can read more about the policy changes here.
Growing With The Industry:
From our in-house student transportation experience to our community-driven product development approach, BusRight is built by and for the industry. 2021 brought us opportunities to deepen our relationship with student transportation leaders & the industry at large.
- Powered school bus fleets across ten states.
- Tripled revenue and the number of buses safely navigating on the road today with BusRight.
- Created the first Facebook group for School Bus Transportation Directors — a community that has grown to over 200 members.
- Launched BusRight Fellows: a program to give industry leaders a forum to discuss their challenges, design their ideal transportation technology platform, and contribute to a brighter future.
- Attended our first IAPT, NYAPT, and NYSBCA conferences and traveled from Arizona to New York and several states in between.
Not everything in 2021 was rainbows and sunshine, but these remarks from our partners keep us laser-focused on our mission:
“I was telling everyone in the office working with you is like a dream. You guys make everything so easy — with other vendors and software everything is just always so difficult, I really appreciate you.” — Ryan Statom, Phoenix Schools
“I’ve driven [with BusRight] and I love it, I’ll be honest with you. The route line helps tremendously and drivers like it… I would like to see more districts using your product, would benefit them a lot.” — Robert Biggs, McComb Schools
“We have been running BusRight for a little over a month and I am just astounded at how amazing your system works, and how much it has taken off of my plate… I wanted to say what an amazing team you are. You guys have really stepped up to the challenges that school bus routing thrives on, and you are making it easy.” — Rebecca Sykes, Sargent Schools
We raised $2.5M from investors who have built and backed iconic transportation and travel technology companies such as Kayak, Lyft, Postmates, Uber, and SpaceX. We are proud to have curated a group of investors and advisors that boasts diversity in gender, ethnicity, and expertise. You can read more about our financing in this article written by Underscore VC and review the learnings I had post mortem here.
Why We Invested in BusRight
With the reopening of all U.S. schools imminent, millions of parents are gearing up to get their children back on…
Raising money is a means to an end. With additional capital and resources, we assembled a compassionate team that is building a seamless product experience to support bus drivers, routers, transportation directors, and communities across the country.
At the end of the day, we are each a collection of memories. Writing out the milestones BusRight achieved in 2021 was a fun way to reflect on the learnings, laughs, and achievements we had and look forward to what 2022 will bring. Drive on!