Employees can track new shuttles with GPS technology

7115shuttleupdate640Have you ever wondered if you have time to cross one more task off your to-do list before hopping on the shuttle? Better yet, have you debated whether you even have time to make the bus?

Answers to both of these questions and other shuttle-related quandaries now can be found online via your desktop or smartphone.

All six new Texas Children’s shuttles that hit the road June 29 are equipped with GPS technology, allowing riders to connect to an Internet link that will tell them where a bus is, when it’s going to arrive and how long it will be until the next stop.

You can access this information on your desktop here and on your smartphone here.

In addition to enhancing your riding experience, Director of Supply Chain Rick McFee said the GPS technology will give authorities the opportunity to monitor the shuttles’ movements and to adjust accordingly. As for now, however, all routes will stay the same.

Some additional features inside the shuttles include:

  • A comprehensive security system that will keep employees safe and will record how many people get on and off the shuttle.
  • Video capabilities will give Texas Children’s another avenue to share important information.
  • A voice announcement system will keep riders up to date about where the shuttle is and where it’s headed.
  • USB ports will be available for riders who need to charge their phone or other electronic devices.

The first thing people notice about the new shuttles is the outside of them, McFee said. All of the shuttles are painted in a bright, bold color and have a graphic design on the side. The designs are of either clouds, fish, flowers or blades of grass.

“The wraps share the excitement we all have to work for Texas Children’s Hospital,” McFee said. “They also share a bit of the spirit we have when it comes to healing sick children and taking care of women.”

A not-so-obvious feature the buses have is an environmentally-friendly fueling system. Instead of using diesel, the new shuttles are be fueled by propane. Switching to this much cleaner-burning gas will reduce our carbon footprint by 70 percent and make Texas Children’s Hospital the first hospital in the Medical Center to offer green-friendly shuttle service.

“Welcome aboard!” McFee said. “We are glad to have you on our new shuttles.”

Six additional new buses will hit the road later this summer.