Castle Minibus’ School Transport Manager app (STM), was released in 2017 as an online application designed to encourage school staff to complete a pre-journey minibus check. Daily minibus checks help ensure that the safety, condition and roadworthiness of minibuses and are a requirement under the Section 19 Permit along with 10-week safety inspections. The app included a video of Castle’s ADI driver trainer Cliff Kelly performing a thorough walk around check and using the app.

Although fairly basic the app proved successful and was used by many schools, especially those that had attended Castle’s Minibus Compliance Course and understood the need to ensure these checks were completed.

However, Castle realised that the School Transport Manager app, although helping teachers, wasn’t fully supporting the transport manager’s role. With each check completed they would receive a separate email with no way to automatically compare or log the results. So, Castle commissioned a new app in early 2019 which includes a dashboard for the transport manager. The original STM app was taken off-line in August 2019 in readiness for its replacement as it was proving unfit for purpose.

The new app has been named the School Transport Record and Inspections Dashboard and App (STRIDA) and it is planned to be trialled with selected schools at the end of 2019.

School Transport Manager app - STRIDA

STRIDA – the new school transport manager’s app

As Castle customers continued to search for the STM app we wanted to give you an insight into STRIDA which is currently being tested by our professional minibus driver trainers. You’ll be pleased to hear that testing is going very well and that the vast majority of functionality is in place, on both IOS and Android devices.

If you would like to be part of the first wave of live testing, please call 01869 253744 to be one of the first to use STRIDA, or email compliance@castleminibus.co.uk

Benefits of STRIDA – For school minibus drivers

All drivers will have their own log-in for STRIDA, enabling them to take responsibility and ownership of the required minibus checks.

  • Unique login for each member of staff/teachers/drivers
  • Daily walk around video
  • ‘Quick’ 12-point vehicle check with a green/red traffic light system
  • Ability to add photos and notes for any concerns/problems
  • Ability to use the app off-line if there is no internet connection
  • Peace of mind that the completed check has been filed with their transport manager.

Benefits of STRIDA – For school transport managers

  • Single dashboard to view all drivers checks
  • Ability to add new drivers easily
  • Access to a weekly walk around check video
  • Clear view of any ‘red’ issues identified by staff/teachers/drivers including their images and notes
  • Ability to note when any issues are resolved, turning red to green
  • Opportunity to spot any vehicle checking or maintenance issues
  • Comprehensive 40-point weekly vehicle check with green/red traffic light system
  • Ability to add photos and notes to record any concerns/problems
  • Ability to use the app off-line if there is no internet connection
  • Peace of mind that all checks are being completed and recorded.

How STRIDA works

STRIDA has been developed with two users in mind;

    1. The School Transport Manager, or whomever has the role of managing the minibuses and drivers.

    They will have access to a dashboard to record and monitor the vehicle checks completed by the drivers. They will also be expected to complete more thorough weekly checks on their vehicles and there is a video and checklist on the app for this. School Transport Managers may also be drivers of the vehicles, so they also have access to the daily check video and checklist.

    1. The staff/teachers/driver.

    Castle was concerned by the feedback from our clients that the drivers didn’t have time to complete vehicle checks before taking minibuses out on the road. The new app, with its checklist of 12 points, that doesn’t require opening the bonnet, will enable drivers to complete and file a basic roadworthiness check in a couple of minutes.

Chris Maynard, Managing Director of Castle Minibus said, ‘Over the last 12 months we have met with over 460 schools throughout the UK attending our Minibus Compliance Courses. We have spent the days talking to them about the challenges of vehicle checks and effective reporting. We realised that the pre-journey checks must be realistic in terms of not only the short time they’ll take but supported by a weekly comprehensive check so that no problem would remain undetected. It is a key commitment made by schools, operating under the current Section 19 Permit, that they can provide the authorities with evidence of pre-journey checks. We’re hoping that with STRIDA’s traffic light questions, drivers will be more inclined to complete their checks and that the dashboard will certainly enable the efficient management of checks and complete the essential job of record keeping’. 

Keep up to date with the progress of STRIDA and be sure to get the app as soon as possible; call 01869 253744 or email compliance@castleminibus.co.uk