Thu. May 30th, 2024

TLDR:

  • The Polk County School Board is considering buying and testing school bus tracking technology
  • The technology would involve students scanning ID cards on and off the bus to improve safety

The Polk County School Board is exploring the possibility of implementing a school bus tracking system in collaboration with Reaxium. The proposed pilot program would provide students with ID cards that they would scan when boarding and disembarking from school buses. This technology aims to enhance student safety by allowing district staff to monitor real-time bus occupancy and address any mix-ups efficiently. The initial phase of the program is set to be launched at center schools with ten buses, prioritizing special needs, pre-k, and kindergarten students.

The introduction of a mobile app for parents is highlighted as a significant advantage of the system. This app would enable parents to track the bus’s proximity to their child’s stop, monitor boarding and disembarking times, and access route information. Additionally, the program is expected to streamline student ridership monitoring, currently conducted manually, and provide valuable data for state transportation funding purposes.

The estimated cost of the program exceeds $900,000, with potential benefits such as reducing overtime hours significantly. If the pilot program proves successful, there are plans to implement the system for the upcoming school year. The final decision on this initiative is scheduled to be made at an upcoming school board meeting.

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