June 29, 2016

Mostly cloudy

Medina County transit looks to purchase GPS units

The Medina County Public Transit director hopes to reduce some radio traffic and paperwork for his employees by purchasing GPS units for vehicles in the fleet.

Director Michael Salamone is in the process of purchasing 27 GPS devices at an approximate cost of $500 each. He wants the 10-inch, tablet-sized units up and running in buses by the end of April.

“We’re going to go paperless,” Salamone said Thursday. “Having a GPS in every vehicle will be more efficient for our drivers and dispatchers.”

Salamone said the use of a paper manifest, or handwritten passenger list, will be eliminated once the GPS units are installed.

Instead, passenger data — such as name and time, date and location of pickup and destination — will be entered by a transit scheduler into a computer linked to the GPS devices prior to the start of daily routes.

“Passenger information will flow from our computer server right to the buses through the GPS,” Salamone said. “When a driver pulls out of the garage in the morning, they’ll see turn-by-turn instructions on where and how to go.”

In addition, the GPS will be equipped with a vehicle locator in case of a bus accident or mechanical problem, Salamone said. A locator can allow for help to arrive in a more timely fashion if needed, he said.

Salamone cited the safety benefit of having a GPS in every bus.

“If a driver is in an accident, we’re going to know immediately right where they are,” he said. “It’s part of moving forward.”

Contact reporter Steve Grazier at (330) 721-4012 or sgrazier@medina-gazette.com.