- April 25, 2012
After 22 years as a school bus driver in East County, Cindy Teuton’s connection with the children she transports has grown to a level where they are part of her family.
“If anything ever happened to any of my kids, I’d be out of here,” Teuton said. “I would never drive again.”
At the School District of Manatee County school board meeting Oct. 24 at the administration building, a new software system was announced that could make Teuton feel more at ease.
In January, the School District of Manatee County’s Department of Transportation Services will begin piloting the system to give drivers more information about their passengers.
The software package and system will cost $205,000.
“We will have new routing software as we upgrade the technology here in transportation,” said Jason Harris, the director of transportation for the school district.
“Student Ridership” will require students to swipe their identification badge when they board a bus. The driver will have a tablet next to his or her seat that will show the students’ names, grades and schools.
Having the students’ information at her fingertips is exciting to Teuton.
“We will know exactly who we have on that bus,” Teuton said.
Knowing the grades of the children is important as those in pre-kindergarten, first and second grades are not allowed to be left alone at a bus stop.
Teuton said it can be difficult to tell the difference between a first- or second-grader and even a fourth- or fifth-grader.
“With this, we can identify who is not to be left alone at a bus stop,” she said.