Jackson County School Buses Getting GPS Devices

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WJHG JACKSON COUNTY-- JJackson County School District officials are looking for ways to better monitor their bus routes.

The school board recently approved a proposal to purchase GPS devices for the buses, but these won't be typical devices.

Jackson County School District Director of Transportation Randy Ward has been working to get monitoring devices for county school buses for quite some time.

These devices will be used by the transportation department to monitor the speed of the buses as well as accurately locate them in real time.

"There's some features in there that we believe will help us save some money on fuel cost due to excessive idling or maybe some routing issues," he said.

The school board agreed, recently approving the purchase of the devices.

Costing a little over $2,000 a month to operate, the devices will be installed on 100 of the 111 school buses.

But these aren't regular GPS systems.

"This GPS is going to be providing us information to become more efficient. It’s not the traditional GPS we have in our vehicles, or we have on our smartphones."

The proposal also included purchasing scan card for all K through 12 students, but failed to get the school board's approval. Ward said they will have to present more information on why those cards are needed.

"We're looking for something that will give us a better record of students getting onto and off the bus, primarily to assist us in the funding mechanism that the state has in place," he said.

No word on when the department will present the idea for scan cards to the board. The GPS devices will be purchased with funds from the transportation department’s budget. Ward hopes to have the systems installed in about six to eight weeks.

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