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District installing GPS systems in buses

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Technology is making it easier for school districts to keep track of buses and students.

Gene Holloway, Denton ISD’s transportation director, recently briefed the school board on the district’s addition of a global positioning system to its entire fleet of 168 buses, giving the transportation department a technological upgrade.

The new system allows district staff to monitor the exact times, routes, distance traveled and speed driven of each bus at all times.

The system, which was paid for with 2007 bond funds, allows for electronic planning of the shortest routes, provides updates on road construction zones in the area and measures how fast a driver drove on any particular stretch of a given route.

The biggest advantage will come when the software is upgraded to allow for student tracking, allowing for increased security and safety for district students, Holloway said.

Students who ride buses to school will each be given a special identification card which allows the system to automatically track the precise time when they board and get off the bus. It will be implemented this September or October.

“It’s pretty amazing,” Board President Jim Alexander said. “I’m very impressed with its technology and capabilities and I do believe this will be a great addition for the district today and in the future.”

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