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Chicago Students Track Bus Arrival before Stepping Outside

Rather than standing outside waiting at public bus stops, some Chicago students who commute by public transit can now check out large displays inside their schools to know when their buses will be arriving. The monitors were put in place by Chicago Public Schools in 35 schools located in neighborhoods with high levels of street crime.

The displays show real-time feeds from the Chicago Transit Authority's Bus Tracker, an application intended for mobile devices that uses global positioning system (GPS) data to determine where a bus is, make announcements as buses approach stops, and report back information about the bus to transit servers. Developed by Clever Devices, the app was launched in 2009 to help bus riders know when it was time to head to their bus stops.

Now schools are finding a use for it too. According to coverage by CBS Chicago, the district chose to invest in the displays to relieve student stress. "They carry that stress with them into the classroom and it impacts their academic achievement, so what this does is this hopefully mitigate the amount of stress," said Chicago Public Schools Chief Safety and Security Officer Jadine Chou in the report. The program cost about $250,000, which came from grants. The district expects to install displays in additional schools where large numbers of students ride public transportation or there are safety concerns.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.