TCS exploring WiFi access for buses

Published 1:55 pm Friday, September 30, 2016


Tyrrell County Schools is exploring WiFi access to school buses, Dr. Will Hoffman, superintendent, announced Sept. 23.

“Our district has a fleet of 11 yellow buses that make daily runs throughout the county,” he stated. “Students who ride TCS buses spend an average of 61 minutes per day in transit, with some students riding up to 120 minutes each day.”

In an effort to help students make the most of this time the school district, through a partnership with The Golden Leaf Foundation, is exploring the possibility of enabling WiFi data access on the entire school bus fleet.

“If this effort proves successful we’ll have made significant steps towards closing ‘the homework gap’ by helping students with limited or no access to broadband at home get connected,” Dr. Hoffman said. “This home connection is especially important as more high school students are enrolled in online courses with demanding deadlines.”

WiFi is a technology that allows electronic devices to connect to a wireless local area network, which in turn allows any device within its range to access the resources of the network. Devices which can use WiFi technology include personal computers, video-game consoles, smartphones, digital cameras, tablet computers, digital audio players and modern printers.

Synovia Solutions software was added to each of the buses in Tyrrell Schools’ yellow fleet on Sept. 13. This software uses cell phone tower signals to allow for GPS tracking of school buses.

“We are able to use the software to determine when and how long a bus makes any stop,” explained Dr. Hoffman. “It also tracks many things such as speed, acceleration, braking, stop-arm engagement, as well as engine and system diagnostics. We are excited about implementation of this system to continue to improve safety and security of our precious cargo.”