More Students Needed to Register for School Bus GPS ProgramUPDATED 7:34 PM HST Aug 01, 2013Video Transcript
Thousands of public school students are set to return to the classroom next week. A new pilot project--targeting school bus riders from Moanalua to Waipahu launches Monday, but school officials say enrollment for the new service has been slow. KITV4's Catherine Cruz explains what's behind the push to get families to register now. "Get on board." It's the DOE's answer to a "runaway" bus system that for years was costing taxpayers dearly and forced cuts in service. Now, after success with a pilot project on the Big Island, school officials are giving it a try in with some 30 schools in the Pearl City-Waipahu area. - CRUZ 1;00-1:07 "BUT here's the thing. In order to get the bus rolling, families need to get their children registered before school starts on Monday. - Ray L'Herueux 3:07 - 3:24 - "Make sure your children are registered. As you can imagine with this many moving parts it needs the right data and that data in this instance takes the form of children registering for the bus if they don't, then we really don't know what capacity we need," He estimates that about 3500 students will be affected by the new system. At Aiea elementary the school principal was preparing for a meet and greet with families in an effort to boost registration. - Kate O'Malley 2: 08- 215 - "This year it is lower than last year, we are not sure why we are working with the bus company" The new system will allow the DOE to track actual use of the school buses. The test project on the Big Island allowed school officials to work out the bugs on new GPS equipment. It was exactly a year ago that the DOE cut 100 school bus routes because of runaway costs. Families were forced to find alternate ways to get their children to school. And the city did what it could to add extra buses to ease overcrowding since families had little notice. The DOE also changed criteria for who was eligible for bus service O'Malley worries for her six graders, who face what she believes is one of the most dangerous walks to school. - 4:45- :4 55 -"They have to walk around the stadium next to six to 8 lanes of highway so if I were a parent I would be nervous." O'Malley hopes the system can be tweaked for safety's sake. School officials are crossing their fingers that this new school year will get off to a better start. Once this pilot gets underway, DOE expects to expand it island wide, and then statewide. Families in the affected school complexes should have received letters in the mail about the changes to this new service. But again the DOE says it would help things, if the students are registered before Monday. Back to you.