District introduces tech to track school buses in Sioux City

Sioux City (KTIV) – When a parent contacted us about persistent late bus arrivals, we tried to test the claims with school district data. As it turns out, the district doesn’t track its buses, but it will soon.

“One of the other extras we’ve added to this is the ability to track students as they get on and off the bus,” said Tim Paul, SCCSD director of operations and maintenance.

The district plans to track buses and students using a series of tablets purchased with American Rescue funds for about $120,000. When students get in and out of the car, they swipe their key fob to record their every move.

“Of course, for parents, it’s comforting and reassuring to know when students drop off and drop off. But for school districts, it lets us know if a student was missed or if a student wasn’t at school that day,” Paul said.

School districts don’t have this technology right now, making it difficult for parents who call to complain about a bus being late or their student not being picked up, because there is simply no data to verify that this has ever happened.

“Right now, sometimes we do get behind on transportation, but our goal is to get our students to and from school safely every day,” Paul said.

While the pilot program will begin this month, the program won’t be rolled out across the district until next school year. Students who ride city buses to school will not have access to the new technology, the district said.

About 300 middle and high school students use the service instead of the regular yellow buses, Paul said.

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