FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q: How easy is your routing software to use?
A: Very easy, the program was written with the end user in mind. Our customers are productive with Lynx on their 1st day.
Q: Will Lynx run on Mac or Linux workstations?
A: Yes. Using our Lynx Cloud solution. Lynx runs on Windows.
Q: How many users can be on Lynx at once?
A: There is no limit but you must have a capable server.
Q: Will Lynx run on the latest version of Windows?
A: Yes. We highly recommend using the latest version of Windows but Lynx can run on any Windows OS since version 7.
Q: Can we edit our own maps?
A: Yes. The maps are editable and are constantly being updated at no cost to your district.
Q: How much does it cost?
A: Your initial investment in Lynx is based on your enrollment, number of buses and number of workstations as well as options like Lynx2Go (web based) products. There is a non-mandatory annual support fee of roughly 20% of the initial investment for all updates, training and support. Call or email us to get a quote.
Q: Are we required to sign a contract?
A: No. If you are not satisfied with Lynx you will not have to continue paying annual support fees.
Q: What kind of customer support and training do you offer?
A: Online and onsite. Our online support is as simple as clicking a button in Lynx and you will have a tech support person helping you out. Onsite support is also provided for a fee. Lynx also hosts training seminars. Contact us for more details. The annual support fee allows customers to have unlimited training and support. We also provide emergency support 24/7.
Q: What happens after we purchase Lynx?
A: We will immediately setup a kickoff meeting with you and your team to identify; needs, goals, and timeline of events from data entry to install to training and follow up. We will be there every step of the way to insure you get the most out of the software now and in the future.
Q: Is Lynx web based?
A: It can be. LynxCloud customers can access Lynx from anywhere. We also offer several other web based products. Contact us for more information.
Q: Do you offer training certifications?
A: Yes. We have four levels of certification. Each level comes with online, one-on-one training, and a certificate of completion. Many of our certified Lynx users provide training for other customers as well. Attendees of our training seminars also earn a Level 1 Lynx Certification.
Q: I’m a teacher/driver that has been asked to run our transportation department, how can Lynx help me?
A: We help customers of all sizes, from 5 school buses to hundreds. We can get you up to speed by entering your data into Lynx and showing you how to access and maintain it on a daily or weekly basis. We’ve been in the transportation industry for decades and have plenty of experience to help you out. Several of our clients are also industry advisors and can assist you as well.
Q: We contract out to a busing company, can Lynx help?
A: You bet! Lynx was initially developed back in the 90’s to address the issues that districts and bus contractor had. Both contractor and district can have access to Lynx, cutting down on phone calls.
Q: How long does it take to get Lynx running at our location?
A: While it’s not common, we’ve setup customers in a little as 2 hours from the time they heard about us (this includes importing all of their data and installing Lynx). Typically it’s 2 weeks and in cases where data is hand written can take as much as 2 months. The quickest way to get running with Lynx is to get us your student data and route data in a Excel file.
Q: Can Lynx automatically assign new students to a route?
A: Yes. While it’s possible to do this in Lynx it’s not something we typically recommend in most cases. Talk to us about your goals.
Q: Can Lynx handle curb side/right side only routing?
Q: Can Lynx prevent U-Turns in routes?
Q: Can Lynx handle contract riders?
Q: Can Lynx optimize the stops on my routes?
Q: Can Lynx create an entirely new optimized routing plan for us?
Q: Can Lynx get nightly downloads from our SIS (student information system)?
A: Yes. Lynx works with all of the major SIS vendors. The sync routines can be configured to send route data to and receive student data from the SIS. You receive an email with the changes made to Lynx.
Q: We have no IT department, can you help us out?
A: Absolutely! We can recommend hardware and vendors and completely install your computer system if necessary.
Q: Do you charge annual service fees?
A: Yes, for the first year only. The service fees are optional after the initial year but in almost all cases our customers continue with the annual service due to it’s low cost (almost a quarter of the price that other companies charge) and the feature updates, as well as instant customer support.
Q: Several students go to locations other than their home, will your routing software handle this?
A: Yes. In fact, a rider can be on any number of routes and any number of “over-riding” stop locations.
Q: Can Lynx run from the cloud?
A: Yes! We provide a complete set of hosted/cloud services to limit the amount of work and cost of having everything hosted by your own organization.
Q: Can routing scheduling software 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.
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” . Just drag and drop selected students into any route.
Q: Why would I buy more software if I don’t use the software I have now?
A: The most common reason software doesn’t get used is it takes more time than it saves or is too difficult to learn or remember. We’ve replaced several “big and expensive” software applications with Lynx successfully because we work hand-in-hand with our customers to insure they get the most out of the software. Just tell us what you need.
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 to be productive with Lynx?
A: Lynx uses standard Windows software conventions, so if you can use Windows you can use Lynx. Customers coming from other software systems always comment at how easy Lynx is to use. From the 1st day you will be able to use Lynx.
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. You can display and print more than one route at once as well.
Q: How do you get my old data into Lynx?
A: In nearly all cases we will be able to extract the data and populate Lynx with your student/driver/route data. Our “FastTrack” service gets your data, whether it is in hand writing, in MS Excel or just about any student information system entered in Lynx. You only have to provide us with your data.
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 40 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 manual that goes with the software?
A: Yes, both paper based and built-in help menus. Additionally we publish training videos which are accessible to any customer.
Q: My workload is killing me, how can I get the boss to pay for Lynx?
A: Show them the potential time savings and benefits of Lynx, or have us call to explain the advantages through a live online demo.
Q: How can Lynx help a district with only 7 buses?
A: Even with a few buses, your day is too short for all the tasks you need to do. Lynx cuts down on data entry by syncing with SIS software, allows others to see the data when you are out driving a bus, or produces state funding reports to name a few benefits.
Q: Can I scan parent notes and other documents into Lynx?
A: Yes. Lynx has a complete document imaging solution built in.
Q: What kind of database do you use?
A: Lynx uses an SQL compliant client/server database.
Q: Our school district is in the mountains, what does Lynx have to make it easier for us?
A: We have several school districts in mountainous areas and provide several tools from driver certifications to wind overlays on routes. Ask us for more or talk to one of our mountain based districts.
Q: Can we export data from Lynx?
A: Yes, in several formats include MS Excel.
Q: Can Lynx do a manual rollover (graduate students to the next grade)?
Q: Does Lynx handle Purchase Orders for inventory?
Q: Can Lynx produce fuel usage reports?
Q: Does Lynx handle attendance areas, hazardous pickup zones and walkout areas?
A: Yes. You can generate reports or maps of riders in areas and zones.
Q: Does Lynx handle suspended riders?
Q: Can Lynx display a walkout map for riders?
Q: Can Lynx handle winter/alternate routes?
Q: Can Lynx handle rider accounting/reporting?
A: Yes. This can be done by a checklist or integration with your GPS system.
Q: How can you sell Lynx for less than half the price of the competition?
A: We have very low overhead since we do little marketing. Most of our business is by word of mouth and a very knowledgeable staff.
Q: Do you have parent web portal to lookup stops?
A: Yes. The Lynx2Go Route Lookup app allows parents to enter their address and see the location and walk to the nearest school bus stop.
Q: Can Lynx handle field trips?
A: Yes. Lynx provides a built-in field trip management system as well as an optional web based system.
Q: Do you provide a mobile app?
A: Yes. Lynx2Go is a web portal for staff and parents (with permission)
Q: Can Lynx print rider photo ID cards?
Q: Do you have a web based portal for administrative staff or teachers?
A: Yes. Lynx2Go is our web app for situations where you would like to share data with others. You can also sync the routing data to your student information system and make it available to parents as well.
Q: Can Lynx generate change reports? For example, unassigned students and ineligible students?
A: Yes. The Lynx student sync will email you each time student(s) enter/leave the district or of a requested route changes.
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. For instance: tire rotations, inspections, transmission check, etc.
Q: Can Lynx assign students to a stop and handle a large amount of stop specific information?
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.
Q: Does Lynx track attendance for use on the state reports?
A: Yes. Since state reporting is different for each state just contact us for details. We have built-in funding reports for most states in the US.
Q: Can Lynx run redistricting scenarios?
A: Yes. You can create several district maps and analyze data based on school, grade, region, etc. Use the reports for presentations to your school board or administrative staff.
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 districts spreadsheets may be OK, but the advantages of having a full blown transportation management application that can be shared with others can easily out weigh the investment.
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. Lynx comes with hundreds of predefined reports and has an extensive report writer for custom 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, or any size sheet of paper your printer is capable of handling.
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: Yes. You can print maps, photo directories, detail or abbreviated directions and weather maps for any or all of your routes.
Q: Do you have a driver dashboard for the driver’s lounge?
A: Yes. Released in 2020. This simple but effective solution shows drivers the day’s routes and trips, weather conditions, notices and can be configured to suit your staff’s needs.
Q: Do you provide a SecureFTP site for exchanging data with our SIS software?
Q: Will Lynx work with other transportation applications?
A: Yes. Lynx can be configured to export/import just about any kind of data, including but not limited to GPS software apps, phone blast programs, maintenance applications and many others.
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.
Q: What sources do you use for your mapping?
A: Lynx uses at least 7 different mapping data vendors, including but not limited to Google Maps, US Census Tiger/LINE, local mapping vendors (GIS/ESRI shape files), satellite map vendors, 911 maps, etc.
Q: Will I need a new computer?
A: We recommend a Core i5 computer running Windows 7 or higher with a a 4K display to see all of your routes on a map, but Lynx will run on much less powerful systems.
Q: How much does it cost to train new staff?
A: There is no cost if you are on our annual maintenance plan.
Q: Can we sync data between our SIS or other software with Lynx?
A: Yes. Lynx can receive and/or send data to other applications.
Q: How often do you update your transportation software?
A: Minor updates are made weekly. Major updates occur about 3-4 times a year.
Q: Can we print a photo directory of students for each route?
A: Yes. Additionally, you can print photo ID cards and several other types of photo based reports.
Q: Can Lynx use our county’s mapping data?
A: Yes. Most counties have GIS departments that will allow school districts to download the maps at no cost.
Q: Do you have a driver smartphone app?
A: Yes. Our Lynx2Go platform allows drivers and others access to their routes. The app works on tablets, PCs, iPhone and Android smartphones.
Q: Can you write custom software for us?
A: Yes. We write custom software for many school districts. Often times, if the software can be used by other districts, we charge nothing. If you need specialized software or have an urgent custom software request we can provide you with a quote.
Q: Is Lynx secure?
A: Yes. While security is largely based on the district’s IT policies, Lynx can be setup to require usernames and passwords. Permissions are based on group levels or roles, for instance; driver’s can see their routes but not other driver’s information, teachers can see route stops but no maintenance data, etc.
Q: How long has Lynx been around?
A: We started developing Lynx in the early nineties and our company has been developing software since 1983.
Q: How quickly can I get tech support?
A: How fast can you dial our number? We are always available by phone and email and unlike larger companies, we strive to answer every call personally. Yes, there are times during the summer when things get busy but, if you have an emergency, you can dial a number for immediate service. Lynx provides 24/7 service.
Q: We’re a transportation contractor for several districts, will we have to buy Lynx for each district?
A: Pricing for Lynx is based on location so if you do all of your work out of one office you will only need one copy of the software. For instance, we have several bus contractors that manage multiple school districts yet they only paid for a single copy of Lynx. If you have multiple terminals than each terminal will need a copy of Lynx.
Q: Can I get tech support at 6am in the morning?
A: Yes. We know your work requires you to be in the office before the school buses start rolling. Someone is always in our office from 5am to 4:30pm central time. Outside of those hours you can call our emergency number for immediate service.
Q: Does Lynx handle inventory management?
Q: Can Lynx work with our fuel management system?
A: In most cases, yes, but it depends on the fuel management system. Contact us for more information.
Q: Can Lynx remind me of various due dates for drivers?
Q: We have several good ideas, would you be willing to talk to us about adding these features to your product?
A: Yes! Lynx was built on ideas by people like you. We love hearing about how we can make Lynx a better product.
Q: Do you have training videos?
A: Yes. Training videos can be accessed via a web link or a button within Lynx.
Q: Can Lynx produce metric reports for our administrative staff?
A: Yes. Our reports show several key metrics such as average/max/min ride time, average/max/min rider distance and literally hundreds of other metrics that you can use to see how you are improving transportation.
Q: We’re a bus contractor, will Lynx create billing statements for routes and field trips?
Q: Will Lynx notify me of up coming maintenance work orders?
Q: Will Lynx support 4K/UHD monitors?
A: Yes. Lynx supports multiple 4K/UHD monitors from a single workstation.
Q: What SIS software does Lynx work with?
A: Skyward, Infinite Campus, Synergy, PowerSchool, WinSchool, SAMs, EduPoint, OpenSIS and many others.
Q: Can I consolidate routes with Lynx?
Q: Do you provide free routing software?
A: We do our best to keep costs down for our customers, however, there are times when a school district has little or no money in the budget for software. In cases like this we can usually provide Lynx free of charge to get you up and running. Call us!
Q: Do you have an app for driver scheduling?
A: YES! Our Driver Dashboard shows the current routes, field trips and their associated scheduled drivers. The app can be setup as a kiosk in the driver’s lounge or as a smart phone app.