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Solution in sight for SBCSC transportation issues

Longtime bus transportation issues causing headaches for South Bend students and their parents could soon be in the rearview mirror.

Celebrating 100 days in the superintendent seat, Dr. Kenneth Spells has considered transportation a priority from the beginning. He’s vowed to find a solution to what he has called the district’s most pressing issue.

At Wednesday’s school board meeting, there was big progress towards that solution.

The board voted and unanimously agreed to begin the process of replacing the buses’ GPS system.

The transportation department currently has GPS on their buses, but they haven’t always worked properly.

The transportation department is looking for a more reliable system that will provide them with more information and parents with a bit more peace of mind.

“We can get information about how fast they’re going, when they open their swinger, when they open their doors, so if there is ever a discussion with an incident or an accident or a student not getting on or off the bus we can look in real time,” said Dr. Kate Turk, Interim Executive Director of Operations and CFO.

Dr. Turk says ideally, parents will be able to track their kids and the bus in real time from their cell phones.

“Not only know when it’s coming but get alerts that it’s on its way,” said Dr. Turk.

Because the request was approved, the bidding process for the new system is set to begin within the coming weeks.

In the meantime, all staff is being retrained.

Interviews began this week to fill the transportation director position. Dr. Spells says he is hoping to hire someone by early November.

Plans are in the works for an open house at the transportation department, in the hopes of building relationships with students and parents.

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