By Jacob Mathias
After getting approval for a new school bus tracking app last month, officials from the school district have begun installation of the new software.
As part of an agreement with the Stevens Point School Board, Brad Carriveau, the district’s new transportation manager, would be providing monthly updates on the implementation of the software and computer equipment. The new system brings with it an initial price tag of $80,000 and an annual fee of $29,000, largely going towards cellular data costs which provide GPS.
The new software is interactive, according to district leaders, with bus routes and real-time bus locations available to parents both online and via a smartphone app.
“We’re going full speed ahead,” Carriveau said.
The GPS units will be installed by Versatrans, the maker of the software, between December 8 and 11. Following installation, a dozen 90-minute training sessions will be held so staff can learn how to use the system.
The transportation department hopes to implement the Versatrans software just before spring break next March.
“It should be up and running before summer school,” said Carriveau.
The current software being used is only about two years old and cost the district about $10,000, but it’s not working well due to the size of the district, which is approximately 400 square miles. The new software will have an expanded range.
The purchase and installation of the software was approved by the school board on November 9. The next meeting of the board is on December 14 at 6:30 PM at the Bliss Educational Services Center located at 1900 Polk Street.