The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

CPS Buses Get Safety And Efficiency Upgrades

By Staff in Miscellaneous on Sep 3, 2009 2:40PM

Photo by josephp
Chicago Public School buses got a technology makeover this summer, and they’re ready just in time for school to start next week, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.The fleet’s 1,600 buses have been outfitted with remote GPS systems and in-vehicle mobile data terminals, which together will make the buses more efficient and safer—particularly for special-needs students. And, by December, the older buses will be outfitted with cleaner-running technology, thanks to a $1 million Environmental Protection Agency program.

The GPS system will help bus drivers choose the most efficient route, which will cut down on mileage significantly, said American School Bus Council spokesman Bob Riley. It will also help the bus dispatch locate the bus at all times.With the MDT technology, bus drivers will be able to input information such as when a special-needs student has entered or exited a bus. This will help school officials and parents keep track of where the students are and potentially eliminate mistakes. For example, last week in suburban Plainfield, a 6-year-old autistic child was dropped off at the wrong school and wandered around alone for three hours before he was found.

The CPS buses are some of only around 25 percent of buses nationwide that have GPS and MDT technology. Once the green retrofitting is completed later this year, the CPS fleet will also be one of the cleanest in the country. About 90 percent of the CPS fleet will be compliant with new efficiency and fuel economy standards.

Post by Lindsey Miller