The Baltimore City Public School System has appointed Radio Satellite Integrators, a provider of GPS-based vehicle tracking and mobile data systems, to install a turnkey ‘Automatic Vehicle Location’ system for its school bus fleet.
BCPSS serves nearly 85,000 students in the city of Baltimore area and provides bus service for all special needs students in the district. In order to better manage school bus and pupil transportation service, BCPSS contracted RSI to design, manufacture, and implement a GPS-based Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL) system to help streamline bus operations as well as monitor student loading and unloading.
The RSI AVL system combines GPS, wireless communications, and computerized mapping software to provide real-time vehicle data to BCPSS operations and administrators. The systems send data wirelessly from the vehicles to a base station, providing information such as location/address, speed, time stopped, and students loaded/unloaded.
Student loading and unloading is monitored and recorded using a student list with barcodes and readers. When the student boards or exits, the operator swipes the student’s barcode from a list, thereby associating that event with a specific GPS location and time. In effect, the system allows authorities or parents to know if, when, and where their children get on or off the bus. The system provides a record as well as a level of prevention in the event a special needs student gets off at the wrong stop.
Using GPS technology not only helps the school bus fleets run more efficiently, but it also provides another level of safety for our kids, says RSI President Jonathan Michels.