Swipe cards help keep track of students on buses

PERU, Ind. (AP) — PERU, Ind. (AP) — Elementary school students in a central Indiana community are receiving radio frequency identification cards that they swipe to show transportation officials when and where they boarded and exited the bus.

The Kokomo Tribune reports Peru Community Schools purchased the $40,000 system from Tyler Technologies, which provides services for government agencies. Peru is the first Indiana district to use the system, which also includes GPS tracking for its buses.

Transportation Director Dave Frushour said the district decided to buy the software because of concerns about students’ safety. He said it’s not uncommon for the district to receive at least one call a week from a parent asking why their child didn’t get off at the bus stop.

The new system allows the district to track the student’s whereabouts and stop youngsters from getting on the wrong bus. Each card will have the correct bus number and bus stop stamped on it.

“Electronically, I can pull up on a computer that Johnny’s on the bus, and Johnny got off the bus,” Frushour said.

“This will save everyone time and give parents peace of mind to know that we know where their child is at.”

Only students from Elmwood and Blair Pointe elementary schools are currently required to use the system. Frushour said Peru Junior High School and Peru High School students will soon be assigned cards.

The system can also be used to find out how many empty seats there are on a bus and who rides regularly and who doesn’t.

No personal data is stored on the cards or in the reader, Frushour said.

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