Frequently Asked Questions About Lynx Transportation Software
Q: How is it to use?
A: Very easy, the program was written with the end user in mind. In fact, most of our customers are running useful reports/routines the day of the installation.
Q: Can Lynx handle double routing?
A: Yes, actually a bus can go out on as many routes as you wish even the same route multiple times in one day. Lynx provides many solutions to common bus stop scheduling issues.
Q: Can Lynx handle transfer routes?
A: Yes. You can setup as many transfer routes as you like. Creating transfer routes is easy with the “Student Query” route. Just drag and drop selected students into any route.
Q: What if Lynx doesn’t find a street address for a student?
A: Since no mapping software is 100% accurate we designed Lynx to handle situations like this. The user can place a “pushpin” of where the address should be on the map. Once the address is locked in like this it makes no difference what their address is.
Q: What sources do you use for your mapping?
A: Lynx uses at least 7 different mapping data vendors, including but not limited to MapPoint”, US Census Tiger/LINE, local mapping vendors, satellite map vendors, etc.
Q: Will I need a new computer?
A: A Pentium class 300mhz machine running Windows 98 2nd Ed. with 64 Mb of RAM and 1.5 Gb of available hard drive space will do the job. Mapping does use a lot of computer power and fast machines are really quite cheap right now. So upgrading if you haven’t recently would be a good idea.
Q: Why would I buy more software if I don’t use the software I have now for fleet maintenance?
A: The most common reason software doesn’t get used is that it takes more time than it saves or is too difficult to learn or remember. Lynx is different in both areas – import student data and start building routes fast. All menus are easy to get to and help is always near. No blinking cursor for our customers.
Q: Does your software have a lot of stuff that I won’t need or never use?
A: It is built to be useful to small to medium sized districts, many features are included but NOT at the expense of making it hard to use.
Q: Will I need a lot of training or a PHD?
A: The program uses the standard windows drop down menu structure as well as keyboard shortcuts for all functions.
Q: How many buses/routes and students can LYNX handle?
A: Lynx is has no limit for buses, routes, students, drivers, stops, etc.
Q: Can I print maps of the routes off your program?
A: YES. Your routes with stops and directions will appear on the map. We also optimize routes with MapPoint’s routing technology to look for efficient ways to run your routes. You may either accept the optimized route or keep your existing route.
Q: What am I going to do with my old database?
A: In nearly all cases we will be able to extract the data and populate Lynx with your student data. If SASI or CIMS is in use we will provide import utilities to link with export files provided by the SASI Vender.
Q: What about Fleet Maintenance?
A: Fleet maintenance is included and covers mileage and time based recurring maintenance scheduling.
Q: Will you be there when I need you for support?
A: Yes, we’ve been around for almost 20 years and we can only build our business if we have satisfied customers
Q: How can I get a hold of you?
A: Phone, e-mail, including e-mail right in Lynx and website based help and forum areas.
Q: Do you have a support manual that goes with the software?
A: Yes, both paper based and built-in help menus.
Q: My workload is killing me, how can I get the boss to pay for this?
A: Show him the features and benefits of Lynx, or have us call them to explain the advantages.
Q: How can this help a guy with only 10 buses?
A: Even with only a few buses, your day is too short for all the tasks that need doing. If you can hand a substitute driver a route sheet with directions and student information will your company do a better job? Will the district be happier with your performance?
Q: How can you sell LYNX with mapping for less than half of what other companies are priced at?
A: We are using the latest programming techniques and bulletproof databases to build efficient, easy to use software without breaking your bank.
Q: Can LYNX schedule special trips?
A: Yes and fast too, with detailed directions and maps.
Q: Can we use a pickup time vs. a travel time?
A: When you enter a travel time the report will show a pickup time. Change the start time or add a stop and all stops will update automatically.
Q: How much would it cost to have a read-only copy of the bus schedules networked to each school?
A: We will quote a total installed price on the more complex systems that work through a LAN.
Q: Can LYNX generate change reports? For example, unassigned students and ineligible students?
A: Yes any new students will be placed in an unassigned route until they are moved to a bus route. There is also an ineligible area for students who don’t qualify for bussing.
Q: How does LYNX deal with duplicate bus numbers, for example one has been retired?
A: Each bus has an assigned active and inactive date. You can have a past, present, and future “Bus 23”.
Q: Can LYNX handle oil changes as well as gas mileage?
A: Any maintenance task can be assigned a check up time or mileage reminder.
Q: Can LYNX assign students to a stop number and handle a large number of stop specific stop numbers?
A: Yes subdivision and after school stops are a common part of routes and Lynx handles them easily, along with start and stop dates for temporary stops. It will import existing numbered stops if they use integers for the numbering.
Q: Does LYNX track attendance for use on the state reports?
A: Lynx will generate the state report for you after the distance from school has been added (or Imported) to the student records.
Q: Can LYNX run redistricting scenarios?
A: The fast Lynx movement of students and route creation will make changing routes a snap. Multiple data sets are a snap with Lynx allowing you to run what if scenarios without wrecking your current route structure.
Q: I’m using a spreadsheet set up now and things are working great. Why should I buy a software package that does the same thing?
A: For the smallest companies spreadsheets may be OK, but the many features and low price of Lynx will save time and money for nearly all transit companies. Not many of us have too much time in our days.
Q: Can I search by date for the specific bus maintenance was done on?
A: Yes or by bus # or by range of dates or even a description of the service done.
Q: At the beginning of the year each kindergarten teacher would like to have a listing of each of their students that includes their bus number and animal. Can LYNX generate something like this?
A: Yes Open Book Inc can custom build reports for you. And the Query Reports feature allows you to pick which students will show up on our many included reports.
Q: Can I print a route onto an 8 ½ X 14 sheet of paper so a driver doesn’t have to turn it over?
A: Yes, Lynx is a Windows based program so special size paper is easily handled in your printer menu.
Q: We change oil for each bus at X number of miles. Can LYNX tell me when a bus is within 500 miles of service?
A: All maintenance scheduling looks ahead to items that are due soon
Q: Can your driver’s sheets include detailed directions between stops for a new driver?
A: Can and does. The stops each have a comments field that allows route descriptions to the next stop or any other relevant information drivers might need.