Orange County uses tracking system for students on the bus - FOX 35 News Orlando

Orange County uses tracking system for students on the bus

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Tracking students on and off the school bus is now as simple swiping a card.

"If they don't belong on the bus the light will flash red, to indicate they boarded the wrong bus, which will be very helpful at school," said Bill Wen of the Orange County Public Schools Transportation Dept.

Orange County Public School leaders have installed student tracking systems on 15 different school buses as part of a new pilot program beginning this school year.

"So during the first week of school when little Johnny goes home with a friend, we'll be able to know when and where they got off  --right now it's a little bit more challenging to try and find them," Wen said.

Once the student taps their ID card, within seconds, the district knows what time the student boarded the bus, when they got off the bus, in addition to knowing where they got off the bus.

"And when they exit they'll wave it again, and it shows them getting off the bus, at the correct stop, this information will be tied into our routing software, which assigns a student to the bus stop," Wen said.

The bus driver knows immediately if students are getting off where they should be -- a select number of students of all ages, kindergarten through high school will either use RFID cards, or their own student ID card.

"They'll be a reader,where they'll walk by and slide the card through and it's read the bar code instead," Wen said.

One of the schools participating is Dover Shores Elementary, parents there are already on board.

"They don't have that now , I mean that would be wonderful," said Rosie Elcombe.

District leaders say they'll be looking closely at if the tracking system causes buses to arrive late, because that's also a concern -- the pilot program will last 90 days at no cost to the district.

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