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DPS rolls out bus tracking program

Denver Public Schools is making it harder for kids to get lost in transit.

Beginning in October, DPS will fully implement its new +Pass program across its 26,000-student bus riders, which will allow administrators to track students as they board and disembark from district buses.

At a demonstration of the program on Tuesday morning, students at University Prep Academy proudly used their +Passes to board a district bus. Card readers in the buses flash from blue to green and beep audibly when the student’s card, which contains an RFID chip, has been read. The data goes to a central database accessible to school officials, and, beginning in October, to parents.

“It allows families an additional layer of information that we can capture with students getting on and off the bus,” said Nicole Portee, the director of transportation for the district.

The district has already rolled out the program in its far and northeast regions this month, according to a news release.

In addition to keeping track of students, Partee said, the program will provide the transportation department with valuable data like exactly how many students use the buses and how long their journeys are. District officials hope that information will help them evaluate efficiency, bus capacity and cost.

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