Management

Bus fee program to use high-tech tools

Posted on August 11, 2011
In Keller Independent School District's new fare-based transportation program, student ID cards with embedded RFID tags will be issued to bus riders.
In Keller Independent School District's new fare-based transportation program, student ID cards with embedded RFID tags will be issued to bus riders.

KELLER, Texas — Keller Independent School District’s (ISD) new pay-for-ride bus program will incorporate an online payment portal and a tracking system from Radiant RFID.

Keller ISD and its school bus contractor, Durham School Services, selected Radiant’s technology to launch a fare-based transportation system after a majority of voters rejected the district’s tax ratification election in June.

Superintendent Dr. James Veitenheimer said that the pay-for-ride system “will operate in much the same way as a city bus pass. Families will pay up-front for a pass — either monthly or by the semester.”

Veitenheimer acknowledged that the lack of free transportation will increase the burden on families, but he said that the district will continue to make sure that students are able to get to school safely and on time.

“If a student shows up at the bus stop and has not paid, he or she will not be turned away,” he said.

The district also announced that the Keller ISD Education Foundation, which in the past has focused on providing teacher grants and student scholarships, is now accepting donations to help fund busing for students in the district’s free or reduced-price lunch program. Officials said that the amount needed is more than $100,000 per semester.

Working with Durham, Radiant RFID developed a registration and payment portal at www.busrideonline.com. Parents can pay online using a credit or debit card before the start of school. They can also pay in person at the Durham transportation facility.

A video was created to walk parents through the program:

Radiant will issue student ID cards with embedded RFID (radio-frequency identification) tags to Keller ISD bus riders for all of the 72 regular routes for the 2011-12 school year.

“Using RFID tags and readers, our bus tracking/manifesting module can ensure students are on the correct bus, provide an instant manifest of bus riders if needed, send text and e-mail notifications, and can include bus stop information with each tag read as students enter and exit the bus,” Radiant RFID President Kenneth Ratton said.

The company’s student accountability solution can also monitor students in the vicinity of a bus and ensure that no students are left behind on the bus.

Radiant RFID's student accountability solution, which is designed specifically for school districts, can be deployed as individual modules or as a complete suite of applications, including school bus tracking and manifesting, classroom attendance, access control, asset tracking, cafeteria sales and emergency management.

For more information on the district’s pay-for-ride program, go here. For more on Radiant RFID’s technology, go here.

 

Related Topics: budget cuts, bus fees, Durham School Services

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