Ministry to monitor school buses using GIS technology, Jeddah

Ministry to monitor school buses using GIS technology, Jeddah


South Arabia – The Ministry of Education will implement a state-of-the-art monitoring system to guarantee the safety of girl students who benefit from a transportation project that has been launched in several provinces of the country.
Since the beginning of this academic year, schoolgirls in seven provinces are being picked up from home and returned home daily by school buses under the Al-Ameen Transportation Project.

“The Geographic Information System (GIS), to be introduced next year as part of the Al-Ameen Project, will determine a bus’s route, stops for embarkation and disembarkation, speed and direction. The system will save time and offer peace of mind for parents and school authorities,” said Abdul Aziz Al-Doghaishem, adviser for the GIS project at the ministry.

More than 6,000 buses will be used in the massive project.

Under the system, the first stop of a bus will be 500 meters away from the school and the distance between two stops will not be more than 300 meters, meaning a girl need walk only a maximum of 150 meters from her home to the nearest stop. Care will be taken to make sure that the stops are safe and convenient for the girls.

“There are also programs to gather, store and analyze data related to girls’ transportation. A driver will be supplied with a previously determined road map of the shortest route with the number and location of stops,” Al-Doghaishem said.

He added that transportation supervisors in each school would regularly update data on the number of students using the service. There will be control rooms at the regional school administrations to oversee and monitor the buses’ performance on a daily basis. The control room will be responsible for solving problems that may arise. It will take steps to send technical teams and substitute buses in the event of a breakdown or accident.

The parents will be able to interact with the system and suggest changes, said Al-Doghaishem. He said the use of advanced technology would improve the quality of the transportation service and would greatly reduce travel time for students. This will give them more time to do their homework, he added.