Local News

GPS Systems Aim To Keep Cumberland School Buses On Track

Posted July 17, 2002

— School buses do not always get to the bus stop when they are scheduled to.

Cumberland County Schools

are working to make sure bus routes are consistent and safe with the help of Global Positioning Systems.

"We can see where they are, how long they're stopped and how fast they are going," said Liz McGowan, transportation supervisor.

The school system's transportation department purchased five GPS tracking devices to improve efficiency and safety.

The devices will be placed on buses when leaders want improve route times and will allow the transportation department to see areas where the buses are getting held up. The GPS can track the time and length of each stop.

If complaints about speeding buses come in, the Shadow Tracker could even be placed on a bus without a driver's knowledge to track how fast it is going.

The systems are portable, so a bus driver may not know when their bus is hooked up. The school system feels it will get better information that way.

While officials expect some complaints, bus driver Bonnie Rapp has no problem with the device being used on her bus.

"I'm going to be doing what I'm supposed to be doing, So it doesn't matter if they watch me or not," Rapp said.

Each system about $300. With 500 buses, the school system cannot afford to place one on every bus, so they will be rotated to buses as needed.

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