New safety system to track students’ school bus rides in real time

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DENVER -- For many of the 26,000 Denver Public School students who ride district buses, a major change is on the way.

“We hope the Plus Pass tracking system will be up and running sometime in October,” said DPS spokeswoman Kristy Armstrong. “All of our fleet is equipped with a Plus Pass card reader which allows school staff and soon will allow parents to get real-time information on where their child got on and off their bus.”

The district knows parents always worry about where their kids are if they go to and from school without supervision.

This new tracking system will at least help keep tabs on a child’s whereabouts before and after school.

Denver joins Douglas County, Aurora, Adams 12 and St. Vrain Valley Schools which also have programs that can track when students board and exit school buses. This system will really help in situations where one bus stops at elementary, middle and high schools on the same run.

Currently, there are a handful of schools already using the Plus Pass system and kids seem to like running their cards over the reader.

“It gives me a grown up feeling,” said 7-year-old Zeke, a student at University Prep Elementary.

And Talaya, from the same school says, “This let’s my parents and teacher know where I am when I am riding my bus!”

Denver got a $98,000 grant from the state’s Regional Air Quality Council to install GPS systems on buses. The district’s general fund will kick in to pay for the rest of the program.

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