School kids enjoy Wi-Fi on The Green Bus

Every now and then I come across something fun and innovative, and have to write about it. There’s a school bus service called The Green Bus in Birmingham, UK which operates double-decker, low-carbon emissions buses that carry over 1400 kids to school every day (saving over 2000 car journeys). The Green Bus is now providing free Wi-Fi to the children so that they can do their homework before they get to school (yeah, right) or more likely, play games on their Sony Playstation Portables and Nintendo DS machines. Indeed, there’s a link on the Green Bus website which pops up the Tetris game. In addition to encouraging kids to play peer-to-peer games, the access points allow the bus company to monitor where the buses are in the city in real time. Parents as well as staff can follow the progress of any bus via Google maps.

Icomera supplies the access points for the buses, which use 3G for their backhaul. Icomera’s Moovbox access points have been installed in many buses, trains and ferries around Europe, providing Wi-Fi to public transport passengers (do a search on Muniwireless for Icomera and you will see their deployments). According to Icomera, “the free Wi-Fi service has been popular with students since its launch late last year with over 50% of users spending more than 20 minutes online, and 25% using the service more than five times. Research has shown that students prefer to travel in the social atmosphere of bus rather than by car, while for parents The Green Bus is more convenient, cost-effective and reduces peak-time congestion outside schools.”

Watch this video from the BBC about the Green Bus.

There’s an initiative in rural Arkansas for Wi-Fi on school buses.

Now, of course, some parents are paranoid about their children’s safety on the Internet. There are a number of online services that allow parents to ensure internet safety for kids. A recent service featured on Pajama Entrepreneur allows them to monitor their children’s online activities.

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  1. Hi,
    Hey green buses are really winning heart of students by offering Wi-Fi. It can help them to make the journey interesting.