TEMPLE, Texas — The Temple Independent School District Transportation Department will soon have a new digital tool at its disposal to help increase safety and communication for bus riders across the district. The TISD board of trustees approved the purchase of the SMART tag™ transportation tracking system at the board’s regular meeting Monday evening (December 13).
SMART tag™ is an innovative system that utilizes secure cloud technology to share real time information for school transportation systems. The program is designed to increase safety, security, visibility and communication for transportation departments. SMART tag™ offers school districts a complete and comprehensive student ridership solution. It will provide Temple ISD with real-time data and expose potential issues before they become a problem. SMART tag™ will provide the district with data on student ridership, pre/post trip inspections, mileage, and much more. SMART tag’s™ patented system allows drivers to view important details about their bus route including the number of stops, their location, and which students are assigned to each stop. Easy to use tablets equipped with an NFC reader ensure students are riding the right bus and are getting off at the right bus stop. Students will scan on and off the bus via the tablet and drivers will be presented with an alert if a student tries to scan off at a stop that is not his/hers. In addition, SMART tag™ will allow the transportation department to monitor all route activity including stops locations, time stamps, what students were picked up and dropped off, GPS points, and bus speed. There is also a secure parent web app to help families keep up with expected arrival times of their students.
“One of SMART tag’s™, best-selling features, in my opinion, is the parent portal,” said Amy Scopac, transportation director for TISD. “The parent portal is a web-based application that will offer our parents the ability to know when the bus will arrive at their child’s stop in the morning and afternoon. Parents can also view their students riding activity via the app. They will be able to view the date, time, and location for each time their child got on or off the bus. SMART tag™ also offers a SMART locate feature which will allow parents to see a live map of their student’s bus when it’s on the way to pick them up and while they’re on the bus.”
The transportation department is planning to pilot the program at Raye-Allen Elementary in the spring. The program should then roll out district-wide in the fall of 2022. The SMART tag™ system is currently used by more than 50 school districts in Texas, along with a number of large school districts in other states.