Kura kicks off school run revolution with BETT 2020 launch

Kura the leading transport management provider helping St Bede’s College to optimise its school transport, making its school run both greener and safer for students, and more efficient for staff

Kura, a game-changing suite of apps and technologies designed to revolutionise the school run, is officially launching today at leading education technology (EdTech) conference BETT 2020.

Kura harnesses powerful tracking and app technologies to provide schools with a safer, greener and more cost-efficient school run service, increasing pupil uptake of school transport and in turn reducing traffic congestion, both on the roads and at the school gates.

Using advanced geofencing technology, Kura allows schools and parents to keep track of when pupils get on and off the bus, while also providing transparent, real-time journey updates when the school bus passes through pre-determined journey markers, such as local bus stops or journey landmarks.

Schoolchildren can “tap” on and off the school bus using a NFC (Near Field Communication) fob. The system then notifies trusted family members, guardians or friends in real-time when the children are boarding or alighting, in turn significantly easing parental concerns about their children’s safety during school hours.

Using Kura, parents feel reassured in opting for school buses as their child’s means of transport between home and school each day, removing cars from the road and substantially decreasing a school’s carbon footprint. A single 49-seater Kura-powered coach can take as many as 31 cars off the road, reducing a school’s carbon emissions by as much as 75% per 20-mile shared journey.

As well as its safeguarding features, Kura has the ability to analyse routes and identify the quickest, most efficient travel times whilst avoiding areas of congestion. The technology subsequently allows routes to be adapted, further reducing journey mileage and related emissions.

Manchester independent school, St Bede’s College, is leading the way by becoming one of the first schools to partner with Kura to manage and optimise its home-to-school transport, catering for in excess of 300 pupils a day across six different travel routes. Most notably, by using Kura St Bede’s College has already further improved its pupil safeguarding when children are travelling to and from the College, among other areas.

Mathew Hassell, founder and CEO of Kura, said: “Home-to-school transport, which has remained largely unchanged for decades, needs a revolution. Safe, sustainable, cost-efficient school transport is not a far-flung future concept, but something that we can deliver today, and we’re partnering with schools across the country to make this a reality. 

“The school run is currently responsible for a quarter of all vehicles releasing harmful emissions during rush-hour, and that’s not even taking into account the flood of emissions from cars idling outside school gates across the country. This has contributed to air pollution being one of the deadliest threats facing our schoolchildren today, and it’s clear that more must be done to stop this problem in its tracks.

“With the right technology, practices and partners in place, we truly believe that a completely green, zero-emission school run could be a reality in as soon as three to five years, without compromising other crucial areas, such as pupil safeguarding, and saving increasingly-stretched school budgets. This would have a major, positive impact on our schoolchildren, schools and, indeed, the country as a whole.”

The Kura technology is backed by a seven-figure investment from Souter Investments, the private family investment office of Stagecoach founder Sir Brian Souter, with the aim of making school journeys across the UK safer, greener and more efficient.

For more information, please visit www.ridekura.com or visit stand NN53 at BETT 2020. The business will be exhibiting on all four days of the show (Wednesday 22nd January – Saturday 25th January), and Mathew Hassell, Kura’s founder and CEO, will also be at the stand on Wednesday 22nd and Thursday 23rd.