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August 09, 2012  |   Comments (0)   |   Post a comment

Monitor ridership, manage fleet with student tracking systems

Today’s solutions tell pupil transporters where and when students boarded and disembarked the bus. Officials from companies that offer the solutions say that having this information can help in answering parent inquiries, and by knowing how many buses are needed for transportation, operations can optimize routes.

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Versatrans Onscreen performs the student tracking, monitoring and reporting for Tyler Technologies’ new Versatrans Student Tracking solution. Users can see in real time when students board and exit the bus.
<p>Versatrans Onscreen performs the student tracking, monitoring and reporting for Tyler Technologies’ new Versatrans Student Tracking solution. Users can see in real time when students board and exit the bus.</p>


Tyler Technologies Inc.
Tyler Technologies recently released Versatrans Student Tracking, which James Guzewich, president of Tyler’s Versatrans Solution, says provides dispatchers with real-time access to student scan activity.

Students scan an RFID card when they board and disembark the bus. Tyler chose this type of student tracking method because the technology is in use at many school districts for lunch point-of-sales systems and library systems, so students are familiar with the process of presenting their cards.

“The solution provides true accountability for school districts,” Guzewich says.

Because of the integration with Versatrans Routing & Planning, Tyler’s student tracking solution knows each student’s bus and bus stop assignment. The system will flag students as non-compliant if they scan at a different location or onto the wrong bus. Other benefits of Versatrans Student Tracking, according to Guzewich, include positive read confirmation and the ability to install a scanner at each bus entry point.

Versatrans Student Tracking comes bundled with Versatrans Onscreen for tracking, monitoring and reporting; Versatrans Routing & Planning for route planning and student management; and Tyler Telematic GPS units for transmitting data.  

Zonar Systems
ZPass is Zonar’s RFID-based student ridership tracking system. Chris Oliver, vice president of sales and marketing, says that once students swipe their card on a reader that’s installed in the bus, the time, date, location and who got on or off the bus is transmitted in real time to the district.

“They can click on the address and bring up the map view of that area, or you can do a satellite view,” Oliver adds, and says they can look at the information by route, bus or student.

William Brinton, chief marketing officer, says having data that indicate how many students are riding buses and for how long benefits operations because they can better determine how many buses are needed in their fleet, and how to operate more efficiently. ZPass, he adds, can help operations answer parent inquiries on their children’s whereabouts.

To further assist parents, Zonar offers ZPass+, an app for iPhones and Google Android phones. Parents and guardians can access information on when and where their children entered and exited the bus through their smartphones, or via the website www.zpassplus.com.

“We’ll soon be adding predictive arrival information to that app for the convenience of whoever might be meeting the child at their bus,” Brinton says.

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