Dal­las try­ing out new tech­nol­ogy for buses

The Citizens' Voice - - Local - BY MICHAEL P. BUFFER STAFF WRITER Con­tact the writer: mbuffer@cit­i­zensvoice.com 570-821-2073, @cvmike­buffer

DAL­LAS TWP. — The Dal­las School District has in­stalled high-tech equip­ment on three buses that will track where the buses are and when stu­dents get on and off the buses.

The district will use the equip­ment from In­di­anapo­lis-based Synovia So­lu­tions for the next sev­eral months at no cost to see if it wants to buy it for all buses next school year, Su­per­in­ten­dent Thomas Duffy said. He dis­cussed the pilot pro­gram dur­ing Mon­day’s school board meet­ing.

The buses will have Global Po­si­tion­ing Sys­tem and 4G wire­less tech­nol­ogy ca­pa­bil­i­ties, and stu­dents will use ID cards to scan when they get on and off buses, Duffy said. The sys­tem is unique to the area, Duffy said.

The Ma­hanoy Area School Board this year ap­proved a five-year lease agree­ment with Synovia for ve­hi­cle ser­vices at a monthly cost of $735.

If Dal­las in­stalls the equip­ment on all 30 of its buses, the district would pay end up pay­ing about $1 for each bus per school day, in ad­di­tion to some start up costs, Duffy said. The school year is 180 days for stu­dents.

The sys­tem pro­vides in­for­ma­tion in live time on when stu­dents get on and off buses and where they were dropped off. Ad­min­is­tra­tors can also “re­view ac­tual rid­er­ship by bus or route, an­a­lyze planned ver­sus ac­tual loads and sub­mit ac­cu­rate rid­er­ship counts for Med­i­caid and state re­im­burse­ment,” Synovia says on its web­site.

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