Digital School Bus Route Planning Company BusRight Raises $2.5 Million

By Annie Baker ● April 2, 2021
  • BusRight, the leading digital school bus route planning and management solution, announced it raised $2.5 million in seed funding. These are the details.

BusRight — the leading digital school bus route planning and management solution — announced the company has raised $2.5 million in seed funding to upgrade the nation’s school bus fleet, which transports more than half of the country’s K-12 students to and from schools every day. And Underscore VC and Long Journey Ventures co-invested in the company founded and led by Northeastern University senior Keith Corso.

School busses are known as the country’s largest mass transit system, responsible for transporting 26 million students daily. But despite being critical infrastructure, route planning and management technology has lacked investment and remained essentially unchanged for decades. Plus school district transportation directors still use paper maps to plan routes, drivers train for months with unsafe and outdated static route sheets, and students and parents still have to guess at bus arrival times, especially in inclement weather.

As challenging as analog route planning and management is, it has become even more complex as schools map out their reopening strategy during the Covid pandemic. And social distancing means busses can’t transport at full capacity, and an ongoing driver shortage has led to greater reliance on substitutes, many of whom are unfamiliar with local routes. With BusRight, drivers get real-time turn-by-turn directions, which accurately mobilize students to and from school each day. If buses are ever delayed, all parents and school administrators are notified at the touch of a button.

School superintendents now have a modern, efficient, and seamless solution for bringing students safely back to school with existing school bus fleets. And using BusRight, transportation directors, bus drivers, and parents and their kids have digital planning and bus location visibility tools at their fingertips, such as

— A centralized solution for administrators, which replaces having to work with multiple vendors for planning, tracking and updating routes, GPS, and parent communications

— Turn-by-turn, route-specific navigation for bus drivers – which replaces unsafe and outdated physical paper route sheets

— Increased peace of mind for parents, as they can see exactly where their child/children are when on their way to and from school

KEY QUOTES:

“After years of riding school busses, I realized how crucial bus operations were to the success of K-12 institutions—there is so much room for improvement in the system that mobilizes our nation’s future. The nation’s school bus fleet is begging for an upgrade, especially when routing software, vehicle tracking applications and driver navigation technology is commonplace elsewhere in the ground transportation market. Partnering with Underscore, Long Journey Ventures, and Paul English, the founder of Kayak, will allow us to scale our operation nationally, and bring student transportation into the 21st century.”

— Keith Corso, founder and CEO, BusRight

“We have relied on pen and paper and antiquated, inadequate software for years, which is risky, given the extreme temperatures in Massachusetts that make it nearly impossible for students to stand outside during the winter. We needed automated tools for our bus routing processes, tablets for drivers that give them dynamic directions, and student ridership counts, and also provides real time communication with our parents. Communication has been especially critical this year, as Covid has forced us to run multiple routes with varying schedules. We were attracted to BusRight’s technology given its ability to improve routing efficiency, enhanced riders’ experience, and increased parent satisfaction.”

— Dana Cruikshank, Transportation Director at Beverly Public Schools in Massachusetts

“Districts that embrace technology in their transportation departments will decrease operating costs, improve parent satisfaction, decrease driver training time, and eliminate excess emissions through intelligent routing. Keith’s vision for a modern, efficient, and safe school bus fleet got us excited to help him succeed in an underserved, ripe for innovation market.”

— John Pearce, Co-Founder & Partner at Underscore VC

“The minute we met Keith we knew we wanted to invest. It is rare to find a founder with a combination of tenacity, curiosity, and smarts like Keith. We are thrilled to back him and excited that he is working on an often overlooked yet crucial part of our country’s infrastructure.”

— Lee Jacobs, Partner, Long Journey Ventures