The Education Authority (EA) in Northern Ireland has up to 200,000 to invest in smart transport projects that improve the way it delivers home-to-school transport.
Around 89,000 school-age pupils in Northern Ireland currently use school transport assistance provided by EA, including 50,000 that receive paid for passes for Translink public transport services and 25,000 that use authority-owned buses free of charge.
Smart solutions for transport challenges
The authority is looking for projects that examine ways of:
- improving convenience for pupils, for example, by replacing physical passes and loading lists with smart alternatives
- understanding usage patterns, for example, by facilitating data capture on each individual trip made by each pupil
- improving fleet logistics by analysing data received on routes used and vehicle telematics
- improving pupil safety and security, for example, through a system of alerts on bus timings or if a pupil unexpectedly fails to board a service
- linking with other transport providers
Funding will be for feasibility studies under the SBRI (Small Business Research Initiative) programme. Extra funding could be available to develop promising ideas under a second phase of the competition.
- the competition is open, and the deadline for submission of tenders is 3pm on 1 December 2017
- we expect phase 1 contracts to range in size up to 50,000 and be completed by April 2018
- SBRI is open to any organisation that can demonstrate a route to market for its idea
- successful projects will attract 100% funded development contracts
- a briefing event will be held on 1 November 2017