Transportation Information Management System (TIMS)

The Transportation Information Management System (TIMS) is a collaboration among the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute, the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) and the Institute for Transportation Research and Education (ITRE) at North Carolina State University.

About the program

The Transportation Information Management System (TIMS) is an ongoing statewide project that concentrates on maintaining and improving upon efficiency in school bus transportation at the district level. Each district operates standardized, comprehensive computer-assisted school bus routing and scheduling software. By maintaining student, transportation and street network data at the local level, district personnel have access to the most accurate and current data available. TIMS Support Staff at NCSU and UNC Charlotte provide daily software and technical support to individual TIMS data managers across the state.

The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction uses TIMS data in the transportation funding formula to calculate annual transportation allotments for each local education agency. The funding formula accounts for distinctions between densely populated urban areas and more rural or sparsely populated districts in an effort to equalize the allocation process. Standardized software and reporting features allow comparative analysis among districts statewide and provide methods to measure compliance with state laws, regulations and policies concerning school bus transportation. An effective use of TIMS ensures a school bus routing plan that focuses on efficiency while maintaining student safety.

The TIMS NC Web site is at:


Articles about TIMS

More than 13,000 public school buses will be on the road as school starts back this fall. Photo: NCDPI

As N.C. school buses roll, compare ride times, and more

It is no small task to get the school bus to your neighborhood each day. Planning starts in March for most North Carolina school districts to open school in August. (Photo: NCDPI)

N.C.'s TIMS project helps effort to update public school boundaries

The demographics of local school districts matter to the families in local communities. They also matter to researchers, policy makers and disaster relief planners. North Carolina is gearing up to help in a new, national data collection effort. (Image: NCES SDDS Map Viewer)

TIMS director wins national recognition

Jody Pressley, manager of the TIMS project support office at the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute, is named one of "14 Phenomenal Women in School Transportation" in November's School Bus Fleet magazine. 

Safeguarding school buses: Rail crossings critical

Modern school buses are some of the safest vehicles on the road, but even these sturdy conveyances can be at risk in a collision with a train. Coordination between two N.C. state agencies helps give more information to school bus drivers across the state to help prevent this kind of accident.

School busing: Budget cuts change services

Rising fuel prices add pressure to public school transportation operations that have already seen years of tight budgets. With each cost-cutting comes some change in service. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools and Iredell-Statesville are two examples of districts that have significantly changed operations. Is there an objective way to measure the effect? Data just released for all N.C. public school transportation systems allows comparison across the state.

Charlotte fire prompts additional school bus inspections

On Feb. 8, a fire on board a Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools bus drew national attention to an online video of the incident.Thanks to the quick reaction of the driver, all six students on board were evacuated without injury. The fire occurred in spite of a rigorous inspection system in place in the state.

Love the Bus

Since 2007 the American School Bus Council (ASBC) has coordinated a national “Love the Bus” month in February. The goal is to raise awareness for the job that the hundreds of thousands of school bus drivers across the country do every day. A tool just released by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) and ASBC gives new reasons to “love” what these drivers and their vehicles do for the environment and our individual pocketbooks.

NC School Transportation by the Numbers

How do you define good school bus service?  If you ask parents or students, you may hear about pickup times, long rides and time spent waiting at school for class to start or the evening bus to arrive.  With tightening budgets, school officials are more focused than ever on efficiency...

Iredell-Statesville Schools Projects Over $350,000 in Transportation Costs Savings

For the second consecutive year, North Carolina school transportation departments are facing state budget cuts and must grapple with the challenge of providing safe transportation for students while reducing operational costs. After lawmakers finalized the state budget at the end of June, the...