South Florida County Adds GPS Tracking to Its School Buses

19 Sep 2016

In Pasco County, around 37,000 students are being driven around by 440 buses twice a day. School officials can now watch them on the screens of their computers.

Bus #416 can be seen as a yellow triangle on the computer screen driving in New Port Richey on Massachusetts Avenue. Gary Sawyer, Director of Transportation Services says the bus is here (pointing at the triangle) and is traveling in this direction.

With GPS tracking for school buses, Sawyer says they can use the data provided to them to know the exact time the bus arrived, when the amber or red lights go on and when the doors open and close.

Five years ago, Hillsborough County got a GPS tracking system similar to this and Pinellas county even longer.

Parents can now get quicker and more accurate answers about the location of the school bus and if it’s on time using this information.

If you want to know if a stop was missed by the bus driver, you no longer have to bother the driver to ask them. You don’t have to radio the drivers anymore to see where they are which can cause distractions. Instead, you can see exactly where they are in their route, says Sawyer.

In the attempts at streamlining bus travel, Pasco School district latest move is the GPS system. A call center will be open when school starts the first week to answer any questions that are travel-related. Younger students will be provided with wristbands to ensure they are being placed on the correct bus.

The district is now planning on adding student tracking to this GPS tracking system next year where drivers can swipe a barcode from students that provides them with real-time data as to which students belong on which bus and their bus stop.

Benefits of GPS Tracking for School Buses

School bus companies are responsible for keeping the passengers safe on their buses and updating the parents about any delays that could keep their kids from being dropped off at home on time. GPS tracking for school buses can help with both of these. A tracking system helps the school bus dispatcher by providing him with real-time data on driver actions, bus location and vehicle performance. Other benefits of school bus GPS tracking include:

  • Increased Student Safety
  • Improved Budgets
  • Better Driver Safety
  • More Efficient Record Keeping

If you are not yet using GPS fleet tracking on your school buses for your school, there are many benefits that you are missing out on. GPS tracking systems can improve both the efficiency and safety of your school buses and save you money too.

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