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Chicago-area school deploys student, bus tracking

Zack Martin   ||   Feb 12, 2014  ||   

Students at Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire, Ill. have been swiping on and off the school bus for a couple of years but now parents can check when and where they tapped their IDs with a system from MyFirstPass, developed by the First Student bus company.

Parents can use mobile phones, tablets or computers to determine what time their kids’ cards were scanned, according to a report in the Daily Herald. Previously, they could only do that using computers. The information is stored on a password-protected web site that can only be accessed by parents, school administrators and First Student.

The Stevenson ID has a contactless functionality that enables students to tap it against a reader when boarding and exiting. The alert system launched Jan. 31 and parents of 35 students registered the first weekend, a small portion of the roughly 1,700 students who ride buses daily.

Participation in MyFirstPass is free for the rest of the school year but it will carry a subscription fee starting with the fall semester. First Student wants to expand the software so parents and students will eventually be able to determine how far a bus is from a stop.

Stevenson is the first in Illinois to use the software, the others are in Cincinnati and Burbank, Calif.

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