Glasgow Daily Times, Glasgow, KY

February 15, 2014

Buses are on BITS

By SARAH ROSE
Glasgow Daily Times

GLASGOW — Brad Bruton, Geographic Information System manager for Barren Information Technology Systems, said he is quite confident that all Barren County school bus routes will be shown in BITS, a mapping system.

BITS, which is now digital, is used to promote communication, efficiency and safety, Barren County School Superintendent Bo Matthews said Thursday during a regularly scheduled board meeting.

Bruton said with BITS, certain people can view the direction buses are traveling.

“The computer can label it so you can see what bus one morning route or the bus one afternoon route is doing,” Bruton said.

Bruton said the BITS mapping system is continuously updated with the United States postal service and the 911 system because internet directions and GPS’ aren’t always accurate.

“Someone moves into the area, into a new house, say they are on Old Frank’s Mill Road. They are going to take their child in the morning but have them ride the bus home in the afternoon,” Bruton said.

“Their grandmother is going to come by to make sure that they’re there when they come home and she wants to know, ‘What time will that bus be dropping off my child?’ So we can isolate just the afternoon route because that’s what they are interested in ... And an employee can tell the person calling that between 3:51 and 3:57 is approximately the time the child will be dropped off.”

Matthews said that administrators at each school, Director of Public Personnel, the fire department, emergency management and law enforcement will have access to the system.

“That helps make the Barren County School System unique in terms of safety and partnership with those important parts of our community,” Matthews said.

Matthews said that in the early 90s, the Barren County School District was asked by members of the city and county and some businesses if they wanted to invest in a mapping system that would helpful to the city.

“After the initial investment, this [BITS] group continues to have monthly meetings or when there is business to attend to, at least once a quarter, and there is an annual fee which is paid by each of the entities. I believe Barren County Schools contributes somewhere in the neighborhood of $22,000 annually to benefit from those services, ... and to continue to develop applications that benefits the school system,” Matthews said.

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