MADISON, Ala. - A local company is taking the guess work out of school bus arrival times! This school year the Madison City School system is rolling out the new technology, and rolling into the 21st century of riding the bus to school.
“You know what time they send the kids out and you know what time they get home,” explains Spatial Net Founder, Tian Wu. “They can real-time check the bus locations and see how close to home.”
This concept was turned into a reality when Wu wondered about the bus stop times with his own son.
“I always get us anxious you know, I don’t know what time he actually get on the bus.”
Now the company has equipped each Madison City School bus with an Automatic Vehicle Locator, or AVL. Every 10 seconds the device sends location data to satellites. From there parents can track the bus route on any mobile device or computer.
“A lot of mamas bring their kids to the bus stops,” says Madison City Transportation Specialist, Bobby Jackson. “So now they don’t have to stand there as long. They can watch it on the computer, see the bus coming and then take them out to the stop.”
This allows parents to avoid bad weather and extreme temperatures. As for the ride home, parents can now keep a close eye on when to expect their loved ones.
This technology comes at no cost to the school system. Spatial Net, Inc. installed the devices free of charge and is offering their services to the city.
For parents, the subscription rate for the service is $25 per semester, or $50 per year. The cap for the service is $100 for parents with multiple children on different routes.