Every day, over 100,000 students around New Zealand rely on transport services delivered through the Ministry of Education to get to school safely. To deliver this essential public service, the Ministry uses a complex school transport resourcing system that ensures every eligible child gets the assistance they need, while also managing 8000 contracted service providers. However, their existing system relied on ageing technology that was no longer supported, leading to increasing technical and business risks. The Ministry turned to Optimation to develop a new School Transport Resourcing Administration System (STRAS) that meets current business requirements while also being flexible enough to adapt to future change.
Over 18 months, Optimation worked with the Ministry to develop and deploy a STRAS solution that is robust, extensible and designed to address both current and future needs. We took a true partnership approach, collaborating closely with all stakeholders to refine requirements as these changed in response to shifting business demands, and to balance additional features and enhancements with cost-benefits.
The system we built smoothly incorporates very complex business rules for managing transport routes, tracking student eligibility and managing provider contractors. In addition, it accurately calculates and processes payments amounting to $175m per annum across providers who service both mainstream and special needs students. Providers include buses, taxi operators, and private caregivers, and in some cases, payments are also made directly to schools or communities who operate their own transport. STRAS can handle a variety of payment types, from per-kilometre reimbursement through to quarterly or annual lump sums.
Optimation Support provides on-going application support and enhancements, including streamlining of business processes and workflows.