Students on a school bus hanging out windows

Student Transit chose a better way to assess their drivers’ fitness to drive

Student Transit needed a better, more objective, and scientific way to assess their drivers’ fitness to drive…they chose DriveABLE.

“Safety is of paramount importance at Student Transit. Our drivers transport America’s most precious cargo — our children. We are confident the technology and industry expertise of [DriveABLE and] SafeWay Driver Fitness Centers helps us put the safest school bus drivers on Wisconsin’s roads.” 

Jim Fey, Vice President of Student Transit, President of the Wisconsin School Bus Association

About Student Transit

Student Transit has been serving the Eau Claire community since 1939. Now a fourth generation family business, it strives to provide safe, efficient, and economical transportation to the families in the Eau Claire and, more recently, the Altoona school districts. As a family operation, its philosophy has always been to treat employees and customers like part of the family.

The Challenge

For over 75 years, Student Transit of Eau Claire has taken very seriously its responsibility to get every passenger to the destination safely, on time, and ready to learn, work, or play. That is why the community trusts Student Transit today with their most precious assets—their children. 

In order to promote safety and risk management, Student Transit sought to ensure that drivers transporting children were cognitively competent to safely operate their busses. The company wanted a way to better understand any risk involved in transporting its clients and improve its onboarding process for future hires. 

Student Transit continually strives to utilize any and all tools to help the company improve.

Kids with backpacks getting onto a school bus

The Solution

Student Transit sought out a better way to determine their drivers’ safety on the road. The solution they found was DriveABLE, the global leader in evidence-based assessment technology for the fair and accurate assessment of cognitively at-risk drivers. Through award-winning university research, the DCAT —The DriveABLE Cognitive Assessment Tool — was developed. It is the only cognitive assessment tool shown to be highly predictive of actual on-road performance. 

Through SafeWay Driver Fitness Centers, a DriveABLE provider in Wisconsin, the Student Transit team was the first to implement the cognitive testing of their entire fleet of drivers.

“The DCAT is an innovative tool; it could revolutionize how we hire, train and maintain our driver pool!” 

Jim Fey, Vice President of Student Transit, President of the Wisconsin School Bus Association 

The Results

Test Results

Assessment of Student Transit’s 117 drivers found: 

  • 78% of those tested fit the profile of a normal, healthy driver. 
  • 25% of drivers who obtained results consistent with a normal, healthy driver were over the age of 60. This illustrates that factors other than age, such as an underlying medical condition or medication use, can cause a driver to become unsafe. 
  • 22% of drivers were found to be of higher risk requiring further testing and/or medical follow-up. 
  • Three (3) drivers scored well outside the range of normal, healthy drivers indicating a high probability of failing an on-road driving test. 
School bus driver smiling

Objective and Unbiased

DriveABLE provides an unbiased and objective measure of the degree to which cognitive skills required for driving may have been compromised.

Results Inform Recommendations and Facilitate Discussion

DriveABLE test results provide Student Transit operations officers with the data to make informed decisions about driving cessation recommendations and facilitate the discussion with their bus drivers. Objective data dispels doubt.

Risk Management

DriveABLE was able to pinpoint the “needles in the haystack” that needed to be reviewed and managed in order to reduce potential danger to passengers, other road users, and the bus drivers themselves.

“A majority of our drivers scored very well, as we expected. However, there were some who scored poorly and we are proactively working with them to manage the risk. We feel that Safeway/DriveABLE offers the potential of becoming a tool that we can use for managing risk for both current drivers and potential new hires.”

Jim Fey, Vice President of Student Transit, President of the Wisconsin School Bus Association