New Bus GPS System in Play at BH-BL

Throughout January and February, the BH-BL Transportation Department will be rolling out the second phase of new interactive transportation system.

The new transportation system, known as Tyler Drive, supports a mobile app that provides parents/guardians instant access to their children’s transportation information and real-time GPS tracking. This means they’ll be able to see for themselves the ETA of their child’s bus, which can be particularly helpful if there are unexpected traffic or weather-related delays impacting pick-up or drop-off times.

Earlier this school year, computer tablets were added to every BH-BL school bus. They show digitized bus routes for the drivers and students’ drop-off and pick-up locations. All data entered on the tablet is communicated with the mobile GPS app in real-time to keep parents informed. Moving into the mobile app phase requires that the district provide students with ID badges that they’ll swipe/tap on the tablet upon boarding and disembarking the school bus.

During the roll out, students will receive a personalized scan card, a plastic holder, and a carabiner (hook) that staff attach to every student’s backpack for easy scanning on the bus.

“We want to test the process one school at a time in case there are any wrinkles that need to be ironed out,” says Katria Hitrick, Administrator for Transportation. “We predict the process to be seamless but are just being cautious.”

Families should also download the My Ride K-12 app, which will allow access to your child’s bus stop location, route, and pick-up time. (As of Feb. 1, My Ride K-12 replaces the previous Traversa Ride 360 app, which will be retired in May. If you originally downloaded Ride 360, you should download the companies new app instead.) The app uses vehicle GPS geolocation to show bus arrivals.  If you are unsure of your child’s eSchool identification number, please contact your child’s school or the Transportation Office at 518-399-9141, #7. [Apple Device Download] [Google Play Download (for Android devices)]

Tyler Technologies, Inc., the provider of the My Ride K-12 app, places the utmost importance on data security and student privacy. They are in full compliance with New York State Education Law 2-d, which establishes regulations regarding third-party contractors’ collection, management, storage and use of students’ personally identifiable information. You can feel confident that your child’s data is securely protected.


Frequently Asked Questions

The protection of student data and privacy is of the utmost importance to our school district. We are fully compliant with New York State Education Law 2-d (Ed Law 2d), which governs data security and privacy policies for educational agencies. Ed Law 2d requires encryption of personally identifiable student data, restricted data sharing only with authorized parties, data security protocols, governance policies, and full transparency around data collection and protection steps with parents and the community.

As part of our comprehensive Ed Law 2d compliance, we want to provide full information about our new student transportation ID tracking system. Please see the FAQ below addressing common questions and detailing the limited data collected, strong security protections, and parental choice options regarding this system.

Q.  What is being tracked and when?

A. The system tracks when a student scans their ID card when getting on and off the school bus. It records the time and location of the bus at that scan point. This allows the transportation department to know that the child got on or off at the expected bus stop. The system then tracks the location of the school bus according to GPS data. Location is only being tracked for the bus itself.

Q. What data will be provided to the company through this system? What will they store?

A. The system collects students name, school ID number, bus route information, and the time/location data of when they scanned on/off the bus. This information is stored by the software company on secured servers.

Q.  How long does the company keep the collected data?

A. According to the Data Protection Agreement, the contractor agrees to destroy all PII (Personal Identifiable Information) when the purpose that necessitated its receipt by the contractor has been completed, no later than 60 days after termination or expiration/termination of the initial Service Agreement. Data backups would be deleted no later than 13 months upon expiration/termination of the contract.

Q. Is the ID card able to be tracked getting on/off the bus only, or is it providing information on the location of the card at any point in time?

A. The system only tracks the point and time at which the card is scanned on a bus. It does not track the location of the ID card or the student at other times.

Q. If a student was lost with the ID card, would it be trackable?

A. No. The system is not designed to track cards. The only data that the system collects from the card is bus check-in/check-out information. Tracking is limited to the location of the bus itself based on GPS data.

Q. Is there an opt out procedure?

A. With the introduction of this system, BH-BL will now begin electronically recording all student entry and exit onto our buses. If the student does not swipe, it will be entered manually by the driver. This process is similar to the manner in which we take attendance on our student management system when students enter and leave school buildings. Parents can opt their children out of receiving the self-scan ID card by contacting the transportation office.

Q. What happens if the company’s data server is breached and student information, schedules, and bus routes are compromised?

A.  In this age of cloud-based storage, the possibility of data compromise is always a serious consideration and BH-BL is committed to ensuring data security and privacy protection is a priority. Our transportation routing and student management systems both contain information similar to the new transportation tracking software. Many other educational and management software tools also collect and store PII. While no system is 100% secure, we ensure that the companies we contract with take substantial precautions to protect student data and prevent unauthorized access. These measures are outlined in contracts we sign with every company that collects out students’ PII. (View our data privacy agreement with Tyler Technologies.) Given our strong commitment to protecting student data, we feel strongly that the safety benefits we will realize by streamlining bus attendance processes far outweigh the risks of data breach.

For more information, please see the BH-BL District Data Security and Privacy page. Please contact your building principal, Administrator for Student Transportation Katria Hitrick (khitrick@bhbl.org), or Data Protection Officer Doug Carlton (dcarlton@bhbl.org) if you have any other questions.