In the Pekin, Illinois school district, Superintendent of Transportation Ty Whitford took the opportunity to upgrade school bus communications when the district recently changed their bus lease.
“We knew the radio system we had was limited in its coverage area just because of the nature of the equipment that we use to talk,” said Whitford. “There are some areas where we had some problems communicating."
The Pekin City Council approved the purchase of cellphone equipment from Verizon and Push to Talk kits from AdvanceTec for the school bus department that will save money over the previous plan and not require a separate contract for the service.
Whitford added, “Verizon’s service is much more efficient. It has much better coverage and we can do a lot more with that system than we can with our current one at a lesser cost. The city already has a contract with Verizon for its phone services. It also offers Push to Talk Plus services that can act just like a radio on a bus with the right accessory." The phones are kept in a cradle, with a microphone which makes it hands free to meet commercial driver safety requirements.