Parents Provided Peace of Mind with GPS Tracking on School Buses
KANSAS CITY, Kan. - Sprint Nextel and the Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools have announced the availability of a new tool to help the administration monitor the district’s fleet of school buses real time.
The KCKPS, consisting of 43 schools and approximately 19,750 students, is one of the first districts in Kansas to implement this GPS solution. The district’s 157 buses have been outfitted with mounted Motorola i265 GPS-enabled handsets. Each handset is equipped with Comet Tracker by ActSoft Inc, a GPS-tracking mobile management application, as well as Nextel Walkie-Talkie service, enabling instant voice communication between drivers and the district’s transportation office. The solution also provides the dispatcher with the ability to give school bus drivers their mapped out route with directions, driving directions, and time expectations. Furthermore, it gives drivers the capability to contact 911 in an emergency.
“The safety of our student population in Kansas City Kansas Public Schools is a top priority for the district, so we’re excited about this solution Sprint provides that will help ensure students safety on district school buses,” said George Taylor, Director of Transportation for the KCK School District. “This GPS technology allows administrators and dispatchers to know and locate the status of every school bus transporting children, in real time. In addition, like most inner city public school districts, we’re challenged in maintaining and operating an efficient bus transportation department. Not only does the GPS technology help ensure the safety for our students, but also allows us to monitor buses and make the most efficient use of scheduling demands.”
Developed by ActSoft, Inc., Comet Tracker is wireless data software that runs on Sprint Nextel GPS Java-enabled phones, and allows the KCKPS to track the location of their fleet of school buses real time.
“The acceptance of this product by Kansas school districts has been incredible,” said Nancy Salisbury, regional vice president, public sector sales, for Sprint Nextel. “From the safety of the students to the efficiency generated of the transportation department, the ability to instantly locate buses or students with just a click of a button has proven to be of great value.”
The GPS system wirelessly transmits real-time location information to the dispatch center on the Nextel National Network to a server where data is monitored by the district’s transportation department allowing transportation officials to monitor the location of the buses as they pick up and drop off students along their routes and improve safety. Bus locations are displayed on a map, allowing dispatchers to quickly recognize if a bus delayed or off course. Location information can be displayed on a computer screen or Nextel Blackberry device.
Location data can also be stored to mange the fleet more efficiently; minute-by-minute updates of bus locations offer the ability to view an exact bus route and can generate increased efficiencies and reduced operating costs over a period of time.
“ActSoft is proud to have partnered with Sprint Nextel on thousands of other school buses around the country,” said Tony Esposito, vice president Sales & Marketing, ActSoft. “The solution has allowed school districts like Kansas City Kansas to manage and extend the life of expensive assets such as school buses, and helps them do a better job of keeping their most valuable asset, the students, in a safe environment that provides peace of mind to administrators and parents.”
Sprint Nextel has a long history of providing GPS-based services to enterprises and consumers. Beginning with in-vehicle solutions and then introducing the first GPS-enabled phone in 2001, Sprint created the largest portfolio of wireless mobility solutions for enterprise and general business, and today, it is the number one provider of GPS wireless solutions. In addition, Sprint offers a wide range of GPS tracking solutions from basic bus location tracking to robust, integrated fleet management and student tracking applications that provide school districts with the ability to monitor buses, keep their students safer and quickly respond to parents’ inquiries.
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