PCS enables GPS tracking on buses

Published 10:00 pm Monday, August 24, 2009

The ride to and from school for children in the Pike County School system, perhaps just got a little bit safer.

Pike County Schools recently partnered with Sprint Nextel and Telenav Track to install GPS enabled cell phones on all county buses.

“We have been trying for several years to find a system that would help us track our system,” said. Tom Hicks of the PCS transportation department. “Over the past few years, buses have been hijacked in other places. This system helps us protect our buses.”

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According to Hicks, Sprint Nextel provided the equipment and the transportation department installed it just before school started.

Through the Telenav system, county officials now have the ability to see where every county bus is located at any time during the day and keeps up with the exact mileage a bus travels throughout the day.

“It’s a cell phone with an antenna that allows the satellite to ping the phone every minute,” Hicks said. “It records time, location and speed.”

The GPS technology enables the transportation department to locate each bus and see whether or not it’s on schedule, and now gives the department the ability to address parents’ concerns without contacting the drivers.

According to Hicks, the phones are not used for communicating with the drivers only for locations purposes.