School transport technology specialist Kura is addressing delayed investment in shared school transport with a free trial of its software to schools in the UK.

The no-obligation 90-day trials will give schools access to Kura’s suite of vehicle tracking, safeguarding and route management technology, as well as a dedicated Customer Success Manager to guide them on how best to use the software, which aims to promote shared transport for schoolchildren.

The intention behind the free trial is to show school management teams proof of how the software can make a difference before they make any long-term investments.

The trial comes after research by Kura showed that COVID-19 had squeezed budgets for one in eight schools in the country, meaning schools have been reluctant to make investments in new technology.

Kura suggests this risks parents opting for private cars, and that investing in innovation incentivises parents to trust children’s travel requirements to the school which consequently can lower congestion and emissions.

The technology allows schools to know who has travelled on a participating vehicle each day and even includes contact-tracing functionality. It gives parents visibility of when their children arrive at school and at home, and the reassurance that they are travelling with pre-approved passengers.

“We are fully confident in our software’s ability to deliver value to schools, but we are also mindful of the difficulties COVID-19 has placed on their budgets,” explains Godfrey Ryan, CEO of Kura. “This free trial means school leaders have the opportunity to test the full features of the product without any obligation to commit.

“Moreover, and in light of recent global conversations around the environment and sustainability, we hope the trials will also reignite the case for getting more children to use shared transport to reduce the number of cars on the road and thus levels of pollution.”

Since it was launched in 2019, Kura now transports over 15,000 students each day across more than 30 schools and multi-academy trusts.

The Kura stand at the ISBA Conference at The ICC Wales, Tuesday 23 November