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SBUSD April Newsletter - Using Technology in Innovative Ways to Track

Apr 01, 2016 05:32PM ● By Paul Spear

Superintendent McNamara’s Column – April 2016

Dear Community Members,

South Bay Union School District is becoming more and more innovative and using technology in clever ways. This week we focus on a surprising combination:  technology and bus transportation!

In March, we initiated a bus pass system for students and have partnered with Synovia Solutions to provide a GPS providing real time tracking for every bus. Bus passes are provided for students and they have a barcode (much like a grocery store scanner) that is scanned each time they enter and leave the bus.

With Here Comes the Bus®, parents can register online to be able to view what time their student got on the bus, when they got off, and where they were dropped.  The access is free to parents registered with active bus riders. The full access version/app for smartphone or tablet provides text and email notifications and alerts. 

By the end of May, routing software will be implemented.  In June, parents of bus riders will receive notices with information about the new system.  We will begin scanning student passes in July and will launch the parent portal by October 2016.

With our new system, we can now track all students in real-time, enhancing student safety.

Providing a safe environment for students is our top priority, which is enhanced by knowledgeable bus drivers, dedicated staff, and supportive parents. With a GPS we can track students, vehicles, map routes, and create meaningful reports that help save time and money. When staff create reports they can determine quickly if bus stops are obsolete, consistently running late, overlapping, and much more.

With features such as comparative analysis, our team can review on-time performance and keep drivers on schedule. We can also monitor stop arrival and departure times and compare those against schedules, enhancing route compliance. Additional reporting features will provide accurate ridership by bus, stop, and/or route. Fuel usage, wait time, and other reports will help streamline the system.

We are excited about this new program! Thanks to our team for their hard work on this project and for being improvement oriented every day!




Katie McNamara, Ed.D.

District Superintendent


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