Medina City Schools' Transportation Department to Begin Installing GPS on District Buses
Safety and security of District students is our number one priority. During the Monday, June 3 Board of Education work session, Rob Travis, manager of the District’s Transportation Department presented a proposed GPS platform that would be utilized on school buses beginning in the 2019-2020 school year. The Board approved the project during the June 24, 2019, regular meeting to implement the use of GPS on the entire fleet of approximately 63 buses at an annual cost of $39,312. “We've spent the past several years analyzing the GPS industry along with services offered to us and felt the time was right to move forward. “Anytime we can increase student safety and parent communication while increasing the overall efficiency of our operation it’s a win-win. We look forward to getting up and running over the next few months.“
Due to frequent updates to the hardware and software, the equipment and services would be leased to the District by Synovia Solutions who has 18 years experience in administering K-12 GPS solutions. The system would provide real-time GPS tracking within thirty seconds of a live event, report time, mileage and driver performance, monitor routes as planned versus actual by stop, would allow for drivers to clock in and out, records when the door and stop arm opens and closes, harsh braking, rapid acceleration, and idle monitoring for better fuel efficiency. Another benefit to utilizing the system is an app for parents, Here Comes the Bus. This industry-first parent app with over one million downloads and 300,000 plus daily active users, offers real-time alerts on bus arrival, a live lookup of the location of a bus, and sends custom, targeted messages to keep parents informed.
Another safety feature of the system is driver assistance with route management. The driver selects their daily route which automatically updates information in the parent app, allows for two way messaging for quick communication as well as an emergency button which goes directly to 911. As an example, if a bus breaks down on a trip, the driver can call in and a mechanic can analyze the situation remotely, provides a more accurate and expedited pre/post-trip inspections, and provides audio and visual navigation for the driver.
This all-inclusive, turnkey service will be installed in 63 buses for the 2019-2020 school year and includes the full installation of all hardware and software, full warranty for the life of the lease agreement, monthly upgrades to software so that information is always up-to-date, staff training, service and support, and wireless data.