Smart Card Replaces School Bus Fees

Four school buses owned by gov (photo courtesy the Transport Board)

Students who use the National School Bus System no longer have to pay the weekly $2.50 for bus tickets.

Beginning this school term, students ride for free and the bus ticket is being replaced by a smart card, which parents will be able to use to track their children’s location.

Project Leader, Novan Francis says the initiative is being rolled out in two phases.

In the first phase, students were issued “non-personalized cards”, which only shows the name of the school, the validation period and a “unique child number”.

In the second phase, a replacement card will feature the students’ names or photographs, said Francis, who is the Head of Information Technology at the Transport Board.

“Between the period of October to December we’ll be going back into the schools and working with the Ministry of Education and schools to get all the pictures for all the students”, he said.

According to Francis, when the initiative is fully rolled out, parents will be able to use an app and a website to monitor when their children board and depart the buses.

“If you are a parent and you work in St. John’s and you want to get back to the bus terminal to pick up your child, you can use the app to track the bus and know, okay, it’s five minutes away, ten minutes away, twenty minutes away from the bus stop”, he added.

Parents are being urged to ensure their children are registered for the ongoing first phase of the project.

The registration period ends on September 28.

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  1. Sounds great. Students of Antigua State College also use the buses. Will they be included in this new development?

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