INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – IPS is part of a GPS pilot program where parents can use their smart phones or home computers to track the location of their child’s school bus.
South Bend Schools already use the technology. Parents here in Indianapolis like the idea.
“That would be a great amenity to offer. To get out and avoid some of the cold weather waits,” said Melynne Klaus, whose child rides the bus to school each day.
A number of Central Indiana School districts have GPS systems on their buses. Miller transportation services local charter and private schools.
“All of the schools we service have access to GPS. They can look at the buses assigned to their school and know where the buses are at any given time,” said Todd Edwards, Miller Transportation.
The GPS also records the buses speed and each time the driver deploys the stop arm. But parents don’t have access to the information. The software comes from Synovia Solutions, an Indianapolis based company. CEO Jon King says his team is working with IPS to give parents access to the GPS information.
“Parents want more awareness of where the kids are, don’t send them out to the bus stop too soon. Beyond the inclement weather kinds of things. All that has created a ground swell of interest,” said King.
The pilot program will allow a select group of parents to log into a secure website and see exactly where their child’s school bus is located. The technology is designed to eliminate long waits at the bus stop.
“It’s as simple as creating an account number, accessing a website and viewing the information. That’s it,” said King.
The technology is already in use around the country. King expects it will become commonplace. Mom Melynne Klaus says she’s interested to see it in action.
“For us that would definitely be something we would consider for our family,” said Klaus.
There is a cost involved. Synovia Solutions says if the school buses are already equipped with the GPS hardware, the “parent portal” upgrade costs less than $12 a year for each school bus in the fleet.