GPS project some­what use­ful: su­per­in­ten­dent

Cape Breton Post - - FRONT PAGE -

PORT HAST­INGS — A small pi­lot project that saw GPS ( global po­si­tion­ing sys­tem) units placed on two school buses within the Strait Re­gional School Board pro­vided lim­ited but use­ful in­for­ma­tion, its su­per­in­ten­dent says.

Over a six-week pe­riod, the board col­lected data us­ing GPS units on a bus run in ru­ral Cape Bre­ton and on a bus in a more ur­ban area, in the Port Hawkes­bury re­gion.

“ We were able to mon­i­tor start times, fin­ish times, the routes them­selves, the amount of time the buses would be stopped, things like that, so very lim­ited in­for­ma­tion, but we found it very use­ful and if it’s ap­plied on a broader base it will give us good in­for­ma­tion around rout­ing,” Jack Beaton said.

He said the data gath­ered from the GPS units will give the board a good op­por­tu­nity to find some ef­fi­cien­cies, es­pe­cially around the length of bus runs and stops. It could also help re­duce the amount of time stu­dents are on buses.

He said the board is pro­ceed­ing very care­fully, but it is con­sid­er­ing go­ing ahead with in­stalling the units on all of its buses. They ex­pect that the cost of rolling out the project will soon be re­cov­ered by the re­duced costs they will help re­al­ize.

The Strait Re­gional School Board has 25 schools over a ge­o­graphic area of 11,000 square kilo­me­tres in four coun­ties. About 95 per cent of the board’ 7,400 stu­dents are bused to classes.

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