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Edison will pilot GPS tracking systems on 10 school buses next school year

EDISON – With the download of an app, parents and guardians may soon be able to get real time coordinates of delayed school buses throughout Edison.

The district uses 18 companies to provide daily transportation for the students.

Board of Education President Jerry Shi said that with so many vendors, it is hard for the district to require all vendors to put GPS tracking systems on the buses.

“We use 300 buses and have close to 500 routes,” he reported.

In September the district will pilot the app and GPS tracking systems on 10 of its own buses and get feedback from the parents on the system’s pros and cons.

“I would like it to be across town so we can collect some meaningful data,” Shi said.

Patrick Kissane, director of school safety and security, said the district has selected a company and is working through logistics for the pilot.

As for all the buses, Shi said the discussions have run into logistic issues with buses traveling to other school districts.

“Other districts are not asking for [the app and GPS tracking systems],” he explained.

Shi said he has contacted Assemblyman Robert Karabinchak (D-Middlesex) and Assemblywoman Nancy Pinkin (D-Middlesex) to sponsor a bill making it mandatory to have GPS tracking systems installed on all school buses. He noted the New York City Council passed a bill in January making it mandatory for all the city school buses to have GPS tracking systems installed.

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