Request purchase of new schools buses by Nov. 25

Each year, new school bus purchase applications open on Nov. 1 and close on Nov.  25.  The due date and instructions are found here on the Maine DOE Reporting Calendar.

On Nov. 1, the Department in collaboration with the Office of Information Technology launched the first design phase of a new school transportation data system called NEO Transportation. During this first design phase public school districts submit their requests for approval to purchase new school buses. 

An email providing instruction about access to NEO Transportation was sent to school transportation staff during the first week of November.  The instruction email provided information to verify school district NEO accounts and create a password.  Recently, we learned that for some districts the email went into spam files or was not opened.  If you have not logged into NEO Transportation please send an email including your name, title, email address and telephone number to the Maine Education Data Management System (MEDMS) Helpdesk at medms.helpdesk@maine.gov to request access to NEO Transportation.  You will then receive an email with a subject line of “new user account – MDOE NEO application.”  Please note that the instructions are good for 36 hours so you will need to act swiftly.

What is NEO Transportation?  NEO Transportation is a new data system.  This new system, when all phases are complete, will bring all school transportation data together into one data system.   This data project takes all the old transportation forms that were a mixture of paper forms, spreadsheet forms, Autoforms, and the MEDMS forms and places the school transportation data into one location using one data system.   NEO Transportation will replace a process that used six forms and four different data collection systems.

Why is NEO Transportation important?  Integrating all the transportation forms and mediums into one software system simplifies the data collection system and eliminates redundancies in data collection.  The system includes VIN verification that is expected to increase the accuracy of vehicle descriptions by providing manufacturer data.  When complete, the system is expected to save school districts time by reducing the number of form submittals and providing automated paperless reporting.  This system helps achieve M.R.S.A Title 20-A, Sections 15672 and 15918.

When will NEO Transportation be available?  NEO Transportation will be launched in phases so that each design function can be evaluated and revised, as needed, before launching the next phase.  This phased approach will give users the opportunity to learn and adjust to one application at time.  The first phase launched November 1, 2013.  The final phase is estimated to take place during November 2014.  Updates and refinements will be implemented as needed.

Who created NEO Transportation?  The new NEO Transportation data system project is being designed by the State of Maine Office of Information Technology.

If you have questions about NEO Transportation please contact the MEDMS Helpdesk at medms.helpdesk@maine.gov or Pat Hinckley at pat.hinckley@maine.gov.