Dallas ISD school buses rolling out new technology to keep parents connected – CBS News

Watch CBS News
By Robbie Owens
/ CBS Texas
DALLAS (CBSNewsTexas.com) — When Dallas ISD school buses start rolling early Monday morning, the district will also be rolling out new technology that will allow parents to stay seamlessly connected to what’s happening on the route.
“It’s all about efficiency,” says Jamie Sandoval, the district’s executive director of student transportation services. “We want to be efficient, and effective and increase our on-time performance.”
It’s called Edulog. 
For security reasons, parents can only access the cloud-based app with their student’s district information. The app will then provide information in real time.
“They can track the bus without having to call and ask, ‘Where’s my bus? I’ve been waiting here for 10 minutes,'” Sandoval said. “Now, you can just log in very quickly, very easily and locate your bus. You can see exactly where they are. There’s a traffic piece where you can see how much traffic they’re in, so it’s going to be a lot easier.”
The tablets that connect the system have already been installed on every DISD bus. But the devices are locked in a stand and drivers won’t be allowed to access them while they’re driving. The tablets will also automatically display route information as well—a big plus should a substitute have to take over a route.  
According to Sandoval, there’s something in the new technology for everyone.
“If a bus driver has to change buses for whatever reason, the system will know exactly what bus that child is on,” Sandoval said.
A second system, Samsara, will be used internally to monitor safety issues. For starters, the system will require drivers to perform pre and post-trip inspections.
“We have to actually scan the front of our bus, the sides, the back,” explained Tamara Richardson, a DISD bus driver. “When we log in, we take a picture and upload it.”
That same system will transmit safety data to district staff.
“If you have to brake hard, it will alert them and then they can see what happened,” Richardson said. “Cars do sometimes cut us off. It’s for our safety.”
And although the district is adding new technology to its transportation system, mainstays like cameras that record any activity on or around the bus will remain. The district will also continue to utilize a system to ensure that drivers check the buses to make sure all students have safely exited.
“When we turn the bus off, it’s gonna buzz,” Richardson said. “So, for us to turn the buzzer off, we have to walk to the back of the bus. There’s a button we have to push and we look between the seats and even on the floor.”
As a parent herself, Richardson said the ease of accessing information all adds up to one simple word: “Awesome.”
“Awesome. Awesome. Awesome.”
A flier will go home with DISD bus riders on Monday to provide parents with instructions on how to access the app. Information has also been posted on the district website.
Additionally, the district will relax rules about bringing drinks onto the buses amid the blistering heat. According to Sandoval, they will be allowed to have water and sports drinks.
Robbie grew up in northeast Texas, in a tiny town where her family’s history spans six generations.
First published on August 10, 2023 / 7:49 PM
© 2023 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.
©2023 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top