OPINION: New Transportation Smart Tags Aren’t So Smart

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OPINION: New Transportation Smart Tags Aren’t So Smart

On December 4th, 2019, yellow badges were passed out in all Advisory classes. Round Rock ISD call them Smart Tags.

What are smart tags?

Smart tags are like student IDs that track when you get on and of the bus. As I said before, they can’t be overlooked. These bright yellow tags have the words SMART tags written all across. On the bottom, they have a card with your name and a chip that clicks you on and off the bus. By far, the most annoying part of these tags is the black retractor at the bottom. If you don’t know what I am talking about, its that thing you pull at all hours of the day. Enough about the work lets talk A bit about the responsibility. Who here has ever lost anything before? Now, who here has lost there student id back? I know I have! My point here being is that these “SMART tags” are going to be all over campus and not very helpful to your bus driver or your outfit.

What is RRISD thinking?

Round Rock ISD describes smart tags as “SMART tag is a full-featured system designed to ensure authorized ridership resulting in increased safety and security of students who utilize school bus transportation.” and list some of the reasons they have implemented these new tags into are CVMS bus system. They give purposes such as “Improve safety and automation of tasks, better-enabling drivers to focus on the safe transport of students.” and “Ensure riders will load on the right bus and unload at the right stop” I have a bone to pick with the last reason! Why does that matter? I understand the safety aspect, but what if I want to talk to my friend at her stop? What if one stop is better for me?

Why smart tags?

Round rock always makes safety a top priority. I guess they have the money to give every kid a tag. The smart tag system also is supposed to help parents to know where their kids are, even if they don’t have a phone. RRISD says, “The SMART Parent Web Portal is designed to enhance communication between the transportation department and the parents of student riders. The SMART tag provides parents with improved security and leading-edge technology designed to keep students safe.”

The Students point of view

I’m not too fond of the idea. Maybe it’s the lazy 7th grader in me, but I don’t want to lug around a tag. I think that there all going to get lost over the break and that it wastes time getting on and off. I could be doing my “Homework.” 6th grader Paige Seepersad says, “I don’t like them because they’re easy to lose,” and I couldn’t agree more! Why would Round Rock spend so much money on things that were all going to lose? Today I didn’t have mine, and I did the walk of shame as my bus driver manually loaded me onto the bus.

Overall

In conclusion, I think that these SMART  tags aren’t that smart if your bus driver is going to load you on the bus themself.