Founder(s): Matthew Hassell, Godfrey Ryan now CEO
Description: Offering technology solutions for a greener, safer, more efficient school run.
Using ground-breaking technology, MaaS business, Kura, has revolutionised home-to-school travel by making shared, school-managed transport a safer, greener, more efficient alternative to the current daily school run of millions of individual car journeys.
In November 2020, Kura made its proprietary software technology available to schools on a standalone, self-serve basis, alongside a series of flexible service packages.
Until now, poor, patchy provision of home-to-school transport, and concerns around children travelling to school without close supervision, have led to an over-reliance on cars amongst parents, creating congestion and potentially unsafe levels of air pollution outside schools.
By making shared transport a more viable option, Kura takes thousands of cars off the road each day and saves schools money and time. Reducing emissions to create a greener school run. Using government and manufacturer emissions figures Kura calculated that every 49-seater vehicle replaces 31 cars, reducing CO2 emissions per 20-mile shared coach journey by 75%.
Crucially, Kura’s smart registration software also allows schools to keep track of exactly who has travelled on the bus daily, facilitating contact tracing. Parents can be safe in the knowledge that their children are arriving at school or home at the expected time and that they will only be riding with pre-approved passengers. While Covid restrictions exist, they can also be sure that transport is maintaining social distancing and that any contacts are traceable in the event of an outbreak of infection.
Kura integrates a vast network of local UK transport providers through a single app, which sits at the heart of the relationship between school, parent, pupil, driver, transport manager and control centre. The Kura app on the drivers’ tablet channels all data and communication seamlessly, constantly monitoring every aspect of the home-to-school journey across every route, including location and speed of travel.
Children tap on and off the vehicle via NFC fobs and are checked against the expected list (as communicated from each parent’s version of the Kura app) for that day. Parents can also track their child’s journey in real-time, so that they know exactly when their child has boarded or alighted the school coach, greatly improving pupil safeguarding.
Given that Kura’s research found 43% of parents would like greater transparency around when their child arrives at home and at school, using the Kura app means that parents feel more reassured taking their children out of cars and putting them on school transport, protecting revenue for schools, saving parents time, and helping the environment.
Since launching the software only version last year it is now used to transport 11,000 students every day across more than 30 schools and MATs. Onboarding schools is quick and easy as Kura was the first business of its kind to integrate its software with a leading data and integration provider used by 20,000 UK schools.
The technology also increases fuel efficiency by constantly analysing traffic, timing and passenger data to identify and avoid bottlenecks, allowing Kura’s central control centre to propose data-driven efficiencies and reduce journey mileage.