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Smart Mobility Solution to Reduce School Traffic and increase community engagement

School traffic solution around Michigan Central Station to reduce congestion & carbon footprint while enabling comfortable journeys.

Photo of Saravana Pat Bhava
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There are two schools situated within the Michigan Central Station zone and more than 20 schools within 10 minutes drive time from Michigan Central Station. During Peak times these schools generate combined traffic of over 6000 vehicles converging on to these areas to pick up/drop off students creating traffic bottlenecks and safety concerns for children. 

PikMyKid has the ability to create the maximum socio-economic impact within the school community and improve safety at various levels at a minimal upfront cost. With PikMyKid, research has shown that schools have consistently observed reduced traffic congestion, increased carpooling among parents, and created safer processes for kids to walk home after-school, thus creating a more healthy and sustainable school community.

PikMyKid is the only comprehensive dismissal solution for districts and local governments to help their schools with traffic challenges. Adopted by thousands of schools in 35 states and 7 countries around the world.

How will your solution benefit residents, workers, or visitors in the Michigan Central Station impact area? (1,000 characters)

PikMyKid is a comprehensive school safety system that ensures student safety & increases traffic efficiency while engaging over 85% of the parents & reducing congestion in school neighborhoods. With a high concentration of schools in the periphery of Michigan Central Station, PikMyKid could help the entire neighborhood. PikMyKid is used primarily by School staff, Parents of students and regional DoTs to optimize traffic patterns around schools by the aggregated data provided by PikMyKid. Once a school comes on board, PikMyKid defines a virtual ‘geofence’ of approx 200 yds around the school. During dismissal, PikMyKid system automatically identifies parents as they are entering the ‘geofence’ & sequences cars so the school staff can prepare students for dismissal in an orderly manner. All students stay safe & warm indoors during dismissal without interfering with the traffic outside. PikMyKid also encourages carpooling and allows kids to walk home safer with more accountability.

Describe your solution's stage of development

  • Fully Scaled - you have already scaled your solution and are exploring new use cases

Insights from previous testing (500 characters)

PikMyKid is a proven solution in 100s of schools in 35 states in the US with >250,000 active users on its platform. PikMyKid has reduced 20,800 LBS of carbon footprint /school/year. It also saved $40,000 of teacher's time/school/year & has proven to reduce school dismissal time by 50%. It also resulted in smoother traffic, shorter commutes & increased the overall safety at schools. Some schools avoided >$800,000 in Additional Infrastructure Expenses to improve traffic by instead using PikMyKid.

Tell us about your team or organization (500 characters)

We are a team of passionate parents and educators who decided to build PikMyKid to help our kid's school manage dismissal traffic efficiently. In a few quick years the word got out & today we have 10 full-time employees based in Tampa bay helping school communities across the country.

Size of your team or organization

  • 2-10

Team or Organization URL

http://www.pikmykid.com/smart_school_mobility_solution/

Are you submitting as a student team?

  • No

Are you submitting as a team from the Impact Area?

  • No

Funding Request

  • $50,000

Rough Budget (500 characters)

A single school adopting the PikMyKid solution positively effects on average, 600 students, 75 school staff, 1000 parents/guardians directly and thousands more indirectly in the school neighborhoods. We propose launching in 10 pilot schools in the area to prove the efficacy of PikMyKid. We will be able to support 10 pilot schools with a funding of $50,000 for one year, thus improving the lives and commutes of 10,000 parents, 6000 students, 750 School staff & thousands of other commuters DAILY!

Describe how you would pilot your idea (1000 characters)

PikMyKid can make an immediate impact in Michigan Central Station zone by addressing school traffic congestion and, its consequences following a tested and proven implementation methodology. PikMyKid will work with schools and the parent community in four stages to customize the solution for each school neighborhood. Discover: The PikMyKid project team will work alongside the School District project manager to identify 10 pilot schools with the most pressing transportation challenge. Design: We will create custom student pickup solutions on the school’s PikMyKid portal to ease traffic congestion around schools by eliminating bottlenecks along with community engagement. Launch: The PikMyKid team will conduct a series of training and email campaigns to help the school staff and parents become familiar with the new process and timelines for launch. Measure: Once PikMyKid system is live, regular improvements will be shared with the school, the district and the City.

Describe how you would measure the success of your pilot (1000 characters)

Based on research, end-user testimonials and proven efficacy, we strongly feel that PikMyKid has the potential to make daily journeys of residents around Michigan Central Station pleasant, safe and stress-free as we look toward to the future. PikMyKid's adoption creates a healthy and sustainable solution for traffic around schools while increasing community engagement. We will measure success by the following criteria: -Reduced travel time in school neighborhood for residents and parents -High community engagement to ensure the safety of walkers, bikers and bus riders -Reduced traffic with shorter carlines and easy carpool solutions for the community -Keep students and environment healthy with reduced vehicle emissions (300-500) pounds of CO2 per week* based on a research study -Schools and local law enforcement’s time cost savings (~40K per year) * based on a research study. -Reduced peak time traffic for commuters and visitors traveling to Michigan Central Station.

Sustainability Plan (500 characters)

Sustainability of the Pilot Project: After the completion of the pilot project, City of Michigan, DOT or the School District could take over the responsibility of continuing the PikMyKid solution after the first year and expand it to other schools in the community to extend its benefits. DOT has the opportunity to secure ‘Safe Routes to School Grants’ armed with data analytics and insights into traffic patterns around schools. Several additional grants and funds are available.

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Photo of Mackenzie Fankell
Team

Saravana Pat Bhava Thank you for this proposal! I am a Michigan Central Station Challenge facilitator. It sounds like your organization has had a lot of success with this solution in other communities. I am wondering how this solution would fit into our impact area around Michigan Central Station. Do you know the primary methods of transportation that students use to get to schools around Michigan Central Station? Do the families in this area have the necessary technology to be able to use your solution, or would the technology have to be provided? If the solution uses smart phones, what percentage of the population has smart phones and data plans?

Photo of Boratha Tan
Team

Hi Saravana Pat Bhava I'm a facilitator with Mackenzie. I also share the same questions with Mackenzie. I would also like to note that there are a couple of Catholic schools around the MCS zone, not to mention charter schools. I just want to mention that there will be complexities to including Catholic schools and charter schools (somewhat). Keep it in the back of your head!

Photo of Saravana Pat Bhava
Team

Hi Mackenzie Fankell ,

Thanks for your questions. I apologize for the delay in the reply. We work with a lot of Title-I schools across the country with similar challenges with regards to wifi coverage and smartphone usage among parents. You bring up two valid concerns about (1) Hardware at schools and (2) Smartphone usage by parents.

(1) As far as hardware infrastructure required by schools to implement and operate PikMyKid successfully, they only need a strong WiFi in the dismissal areas. In 90% of the public schools that we work with we do not find this to be an issue. Even if there is an issue in this regard, there is a Federally funded Grant program that takes care of any WiFi deficiencies in any Public or Charter schools in the country. Here is a link to know more about this E-Rate Grant Program: https://www.fcc.gov/consumers/guides/universal-service-program-schools-and-libraries-e-rate

Additionally, PikMyKid works with schools to be able to align their Title-I funding towards creating better parental engagement. More info about this is provided at this link- https://www.pikmykid.com/title1grant/

We also provide WiFi extenders to schools at no additional charge in extenuating circumstances.

(2) With regards to parental access and usage of smartphones, the latest Pew Research says that 99% of the general US population owns a cellphone and only 4% of them have a non-smartphone. This number further declines when we look at parents with school-going children. Data suggests that a parent with a school-age child not owning a smartphone is a rarity.
https://www.pewinternet.org/fact-sheet/mobile/
In spite of the above data, PikMyKid caters for upto 15% non-conforming adults in carlines who may not have access to a smartphone for various reasons such as loss, out-of-charge or an elderly caregiver picking up their grandkids. PikMyKid system can automatically print physical car-tags with secure codes for such cases.

I hope I have been able to answer your questions. If you have any more questions, please do let me know.
Pat Bhava
8134841305

Photo of Saravana Pat Bhava
Team

Hi Boratha Tan 

Thanks for your question. I apologize for the late reply as these questions are getting routed to my mailbox for some reason!

Yes, we do realize that there are several private and charter schools in the immediate vicinity of the MCS Zone. We have a long history of working with schools of all kinds. A great example of working with schools of all kind with be the pilot initiative that we are currently operating in the City of Miami as a winner of last year's City One Challenge. We have an equal mix of Private, Public and Charter schools who are currently live on our platform and using PikMyKid daily for their dismissal and traffic management.

Sincerely,
Pat Bhava
8134841305

Photo of Saravana Pat Bhava
Team

Mackenzie Fankell , I missed another question that you asked with regards to the current split in each school w.r.t the carlines/bus/walkers. We have some general idea based on the database we already have but we will be carrying out a detailed study in the 'Discover' phase of our project to know the exact numbers.

Having said that, irrespective of the split, Students in any category of dismissal will experience positive benefits from the rollout of the system as PikMyKid caters to all modes of dismissal including keeping track and managing the afterschool programs in the school.