There is a new trend in school and city transit systems. GPS tracking is opening new doors in bus and driver monitoring, not only for transit system officials, but also for parents of schoolchildren.
The day is rainy, the winds are gusting, and the school bus is late in dropping the kids home; many a parent knows the feeling of anxiety that goes with this and similar scenarios. These same parents must often wonder within themselves, “Why is the bus taking so long today?”, or, “If only someone would think of a way to track the bus so we could know where the kids are…”
Well, GPS experts have had the same thoughts, and they have come up with a means of accomplishing just that. Various schools across the country are now beginning to utilize GPS tracking systems on their buses.
How the system works is simple: a GPS device with a link to an online website is installed on a school bus or public transit bus, allowing parents to check the status of their children’s school bus, or general passengers to get updates on the bus schedule.
The purpose of these programs is to give transit systems in towns the ability to keep a close eye on their drivers, and also to give parents a more accurate idea of the whereabouts of their children’s school buses. Delays can be checked out by parents and explained to them through an online tracking website. Route changes can be made as circumstances alter due to weather or road conditions and data can be updated online as necessary.
School Bus Fleet magazine reported earlier this year that the use of GPS technology is growing among schools. More and more schools are finding the monitoring of their buses to be useful not only for communication between bus drivers and parents, but for efficiency and survey purposes as well. The magazine also reported that 38% of schools throughout the nation have installed GPS tracking units on their buses.
Feedback on the usage of the technology is mostly positive, with parents praising the idea for its practicality in both everyday and emergency situations. Because the school and public transit GPS tracking systems are still very new to the market, there is no set price range for the costs of such a service as of yet, though the expectation that parents and not the school will pay for the systems’ installation has been iterated multiple times.