New Tech Increases School Bus Safety for Students and Drivers
The Tyler Drive pairs with the Traversa Ride 360 app and includes features like a GPS that allows each school bus to be tracked and a list of student names and addresses so drivers can better keep tabs on who is riding on their bus.
- By Jessica Davis
- September 25, 2018
The Panama-Buena Vista Union School District in Bakersfield, Calif., has introduced an app that lets parents track school buses in real time, allowing them some peace of mind and increasing safety for bus drivers and students.
This school year saw the installation of equipment called a Tyler Drive on all the district’s buses. The Tyler Drive pairs with the Traversa Ride 360 app and includes features like a GPS that allows each school bus to be tracked and a list of student names and addresses so drivers can better keep tabs on who is riding on their bus.
The school district can use the system to alert bus drivers of critical information quickly in case of incident or emergency. Bus drivers can also use it to communicate with each other; for example, if a bus stalls, its driver can message another bus driver and ask them to come pick up the students.
The faster communication and response times mean children don’t have to wait as long to be picked up if problems arise.
“We want to provide the safest, most efficient and positive transportation experience for all of our students,” said district Transportation Director Marc Rosander. “With this system, kids can get on the buses sooner and not have to wait so long outside. If we need to locate a student, we have an easy way to get that information.”
The system also includes a map system for bus drivers to use in making routes—an improvement over the paper maps drivers have had to use in the past. Now they can receive directions hands-free from a GPS device.
"It's easier because I can keep my hands on the wheel, so it's safer,” said Opal Tomberlin, a bus driver with the district.
The Traversa Ride 360 app works with the Tyler Drive to allow parents to track their child’s bus on its route and more reliably predict when their children will be picked up and dropped off. Parents were able to begin using the app last week.
“It’s awesome. We just love it,” said parent Hilda Garner. “I don’t have to worry about wondering when the bus is going to show up. I know where my kid is at and I feel relief. It’s a tremendous improvement.”
The district began using the devices and app on Sept. 6 after its approval by the school board last year. Rosander said the district plans to implement further security and safety measures in the near future, including ID cards for students and card readers on buses.
Jessica Davis is the Associate Content Editor for 1105 Media.