GPS project somewhat useful: superintendent
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.