What is STAR?

Schools Transport Automatic Register (STAR) is a transport communication system to enhance the safety, increase the productivity and drive out costs for school bus and Special Education Needs (SEN) operations - whether contracted out or not. STAR is not just a tracking or routing system. It combines the technologies of GPS vehicle tracking with personal RFID smartcards as the basis for an innovative way of delivering home to school transport services to parents, schools, bus companies and local authorities.

Mr. Kevin Farquharson - Chairman of SCNF

Local authorities would welcome the opportunity to learn about new solutions and emerging experience from other authorities. GEP Tec's proposition (STAR) is unique and very interesting with potential to be extended to other applications in school and transport sectors.

Each child has a personalised smartcard with their details including a photo which is recognised and validated by the STAR system and referenced on the server. The smartcard registers on the bus console when passengers board and exit the vehicle. STAR enables the tracking of the bus and its whereabouts, automatic travel validation and real-time reports, two way voice and text communication between the driver and base, and the ability to identify individuals and report incidents immediately.

Mr. Chris Pettifer - Head of Integrated Passenger Transport - Bedfordshire Council

STAR will make a huge difference to improving school transport. STAR is a striking example of what can be achieved by adopting the latest innovative technologies. STAR will encourage collaboration amongst stakeholders to improve fundamental community service; thus ensuring safety, reliability, and efficiency of schools transport which is paramount to Bedfordshire. We will be talking to other schools about STAR in the near future.

STAR can be delivered as a web based service, on a hosted basis or as an on-premises installation. The system is easily configurable and can be extended to include other value-added services such as ticketing. The delivery and pricing model is flexible, minimising up-front costs, but enabling clients to choose between capital and revenue options.

Dr. Soraya Jones - Managing Director of Cambridge Wireless Group

STAR is a unique product and provides a practical and cost effective solution to the delivery of School and other transport providers not only in the UK but Internationally as well.

As well as improving child safeguarding and improving communication the STAR system can deliver significant cost savings for Local Authorities and Bus Operators. More efficient fleet management, reduced administrative and compliance costs, as well as a reduction in misuse and fraud all contribute to an independently verified pay-back period of less than a year.

Mr. Peter Whent - Ex-Detective Chief super intendant of transport police

A small electronic device (an electronic data terminal) is installed on each school bus and every child is allocated and carries an electronic bus pass. As they enter the school bus the data terminal records the child is on board and this data is then available to any parent using their home computer or mobile phone via the internet. It allows the driver to control security by knowing who is on board and when the bus is full and able to leave. It also allows the company to know where the bus is and read any other data such as the numbers on board.