Sampson County officials would like to install a GPS system on their buses, but the Board of Education would like to take a closer look at the details.
During a Monday meeting, the board decided to table a decision regarding installing the system from Synovia Solutions on the vehicles to monitor safety and timekeeping. Billy Sugg, a former Johnston County director and company representative, made a presentation to the board at a previous work session.
“We like the idea of GPS because we think it would be an asset for bus safety,” said Chairman Dewain Sinclair.
But Sinclair said the board would like to examine the terminology of the contract to make sure it’s a good fit for the school district. According to the proposed five-year contract, the total payment to rent the equipment is more than $5,300 for tracking, analysis and attendance. With fuel prices going down, district officials believe an opportunity is available to service more than 180 vehicles.
During the presentation, Herb Sanderson, director of transportation for Sampson County Schools, suggested that the system could cut back on idle time and driving behavior such as rough braking, harsh acceleration and turns.
“In a lot of ways it should help us save money,” Sinclair said.
The company uses 75,000 vehicles and has 650 clients. In North Carolina, Synovia Solutions tracks 9,000 vehicles for other counties such as Bladen, Johnston, Lenoir and Wayne.
Sinclair said another one of the issues is GPS working in remote areas of the county.
“We’re trying to get some questions answered about that as well,” Sinclair said.
According to Synovia Solutions, the system will be able to streamline routes and track locations throughout the school district. Also, it will help the district provide accurate and quick responses for parents who have complaints regarding issues such as tardiness.
Board members are expected to further discuss the GPS issue within the upcoming months.
Reach Chase Jordan at 910-249-4617. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.