Wasted time. We’ve all experienced it. From waiting in line at the DMV to sitting in traffic, when we’re stuck in neutral through no fault of our own. It’s frustrating and we’d all love to be doing something more constructive with our time. This isn’t just an experience that is unique to adults, it happens to kids too. Only they’re not stuck in a car or in a strip mall waiting room, they’re usually stuck on a bus. With nothing going on except staring out a window, the bus ride is a great opportunity to get a jump start on homework, but how?

Watkins Glen (NY) Central School District had a great idea.

For some of the 1,150 students in the Watkins Glen school district, the commute to and from school can take up to 40 minutes each way. If you add sporting event or field trip times, then that amount of time sitting on a bus can jump up to two hours or more. With this much downtime, kids weren’t doing much of anything. But instead of seeing a problem, Watkins Glen saw an opportunity.

The school system recently partnered with Cisco to deploy a Connected Buses program that allowed for secure, reliable online access to the internet and the school system. Loaded with products such as the Cisco Aironet 3600 Series Access Points, Cisco 5500 Series Wireless Controllers, the Cisco 829 Industrial Integrated Service Routers and the Cisco Catalyst 2960-X and 4500E Series Switches, the busses became an extension of the school’s digital campus.

“The toughened, easy-to-install Cisco solution ticked every box and extended our bring-your-own-device policy,” said Melanie Chandler, Watkins Glen Director of Technology. “We deployed it across all of our busses in just 12 weeks.”

Students are now securely accessing learning content and resources as they travel to and from school.

In addition to the students using their time better, the busses are also always-connected. Some drivers were losing radio communication due to dead spots. But now every bus is trackable to help ensure correct routes are taken.

For more on how the Watkins Glen Central School District used Cisco wireless products to fortify their busses, please read the entire case study here.


Byron Magrane

Product Manager, Marketing