How Does the Dashboard Work?

FirstView is about the integration of data through FOCUS (our proprietary system), operational best practices, and industry leading software that enables consistent and reliable information to be provided to districts and parents.  In the design of FirstView, our IT and operations support teams have been working with uTrack, an expert in transportation software development, with whom First Student Inc. has an exclusive agreement in the US and Canada. The result is a best-in-class platform for bus tracking and student transport communications.

The set-up of data and operations for FirstView is critical.  We start by doing a comprehensive assessment of current data, operations, and processes to understand what needs to be put in place or improved to make FirstView successful.  Some of the main areas we assess and plan for are route set-up, FOCUS compliance and GPS/inspection compliance.

Where Does the Data Come From?

The data that powers the FirstView DistrictView Dashboard comes from a variety of sources. First and foremost, we gather automatic vehicle locations (AVLs or GPS pings) from Zonar Systems units on each bus. These AVLs provide the information uTrack needs to help calculate estimated arrival and departure times, as well as show the location of each vehicle. Using FOCUS, the bus depot's back-end system, we formulate vehicle, route, and driver info which is then matched up with the student data. Depending on your district's configuration, the student data will come from either a file that the district sends us weekly, or from parents manually entering their student's data on the app when registering. Both of these methods allow us to generate a database for FirstView and helps to ensure the student information stays updated and accurate.

For questions regarding routing and student data, contact our team of customer support analysts at If we can't answer your questions about routing, we can point you in the right direction. 

Maintaining Data Integrity

With so many moving parts, its imperative that our data stays consistent and our timing is precise. Route and vehicle information is sent from FOCUS at a minimum of once per day, and are sent additionally during the day when operational changes, such as vehicle reassignments, are made. AVLs are pulled from Zonar by uTrack whenever an update is available and then pushed to our FirstView database during the day. With all of this data being sent and received from various data systems, it is vital that we continually strive to receive the most up-to-date route data as timely as possible so the data flowing into FirstView is accurate.

Tracking Disclaimer: The DistrictView Dashboard shows data that has been collected from the GPS device installed on a bus. There are many factors that may inhibit the ability to capture live GPS data. For this reason, the Dashboard should be used as a tool to aid parents with busing questions, and should not be used for route performance analysis.

Note: The FirstView Team does not manage or maintain any student or route data.