GPS Technology Monitors Buses

Posted on January 1, 2002

The transportation department at Palm Beach County (Fla.) School District will be increasing its school bus monitoring capabilities via the Global Trax system, which tracks buses on a central computer using geographic information systems, the Global Positioning System, the Internet and wireless communications. Transportation officials can monitor school buses in real time, noting how fast each bus goes, where it stops, how long the door stays open and when the bus approaches a railroad crossing. The system includes a panic button, enabling drivers to alert transportation staff immediately if an accident or medical emergency occurs. Because Global Trax records the bus’ speed and driving pattern at all times, it proves especially useful in providing key data in the event of an accident. The monitoring system provides special assistance to drivers of special-needs routes by sending automated telephone calls to parents of special-needs students 10 minutes before their children’s bus arrives in the morning. Martin County (Fla.) School District installed the Global Trax system on 80 of its buses last year at a cost of approximately $200,000 to $300,000. Palm Beach County will follow suit with a pilot program on as many of its buses as funding allows. The system’s cost depends on how many buses are equipped and whether signals are sent via radio or wireless provider. Source: The Palm Beach Post

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