Across the country every fall, there are news stories of elementary school students who ended up on the wrong bus and are dropped off in the wrong neighborhood. Not only does it leave parents momentarily panicked while a search is underway, it leaves school districts scrambling to find a missing student.
Synovia Solutions, a machine-to-machine solutions provider for Verizon Wireless based in Indiana, has more than 65,000 GPS units installed on school buses in North America. The on-bus tracking offers increased safety for students, convenience for parents as well as accountability and cost savings for school districts.
Custom solutions crafted by Synovia can also ease a parent’s mind by providing important information, like when a child was picked up and dropped off at school or if there’s been a pick-up delay during inclement weather. Synovia’s student ridership solution allows parents to log into a protected site via computer, smartphone or tablet and view the current location of their child’s bus on the map.
School districts are more than pleased with the results. In North Carolina, Durham Public Schools uses Synovia’s GPS tracking to manage a fleet of 300 district busses.
Transportation Director, Scott Denton, feels a similar peace of mind as parents with the new monitoring capabilities. “I now feel as if I’m riding alongside each of our drivers – morning and afternoon,” Denton said.
Districts across the country that rely on Synovia tracking solutions range in fleet size from 25 buses to more than 3,000 buses. The cost savings can be significant to school district officials who manage large fleets – as much as $50,000 to more than $1 million a year.
Savings and efficiencies come in many other forms as well. Schools can save on insurance premiums because GPS is considered an anti-theft device by most insurance companies. Also, more accurate mileage tracking means better warranty recovery. Finally, schools are able to review actual ridership by bus or route to determine if buses are being fully utilized to better manage resources.