Spartanburg School District Seven will soon implement software for school bus tracking, routing and navigation. Parents will be able find their child’s bus using an app, and bus drivers will have GPS-enabled tablets for all routes.
“We’re looking for a soft rollout in February so that we can work out the kinks in March, April and May, and we would kick off the 2022 school year completely on Traversa,” said Eric Levitt, chief operations and technology officer for Spartanburg School District Seven.
Levitt hopes parents will have access to the Traversa tracking app by April. The district will implement the system on about 70 buses for elementary, middle and high school students. The GPS tablets for drivers buses read out all streets, stops and turns. The tablets also list which students are assigned to get on at certain stops.
South Carolina Department of Education bought a five-year license to the Traversa routing software as an option for all districts. Traversa is owned by Tyler Technologies.
“We’re actually programming into the map exactly what our streets are and what our turns are and what our stops are, so it's not pulling from a random database out in the cloud. It's pulling from our map that we have defined,” Levitt said.
The software will access PowerSchool, a system that holds student information, and program the zone, student grade level and route hazards.
“Routing school buses and routing children is a huge undertaking,” Levitt said. “In our district we have about 7,100 students, and we bus roughly half if not a little bit more."
Derek Phillips, director of communications for SCDOE, said the software will make it easier to run accurate reports on its fleet of buses.
“We will be able to see all the stops and turns, and track where the buses are going, the amount of time a child is on the bus, idle time and more,” Phillips said.