Portage County gets tough with laptops

Tech briefs

The Portage Area Regional Transportation Authority, which serves the 152,000 residents of Portage County in northeastern Ohio, is putting Panasonic Toughbooks equipped with intelligent transportation software from Trapeze Group into its fleet of 56 buses. The new equipment will help PARTA remotely locate each bus in the fleet and send information directly to drivers.

'The Toughbooks and Trapeze software ensure we can get location information on our buses anytime and anywhere and update a driver's route instantly so we can pick up more passengers in a shorter period of time,' said Bryan Smith, PARTA manager of business development.

PARTA selected the Panasonic Toughbook 19, a fully ruggedized laptop PC that converts to a tablet PC.

The Toughbook features an optimized display with an extra-low reflection rate so drivers can clearly view route information and messages from the dispatch center in all lighting. The Toughbooks also have an emergency communications feature, which allows bus drivers to send an emergency message simply by doubletapping the Toughbook screen. The emergency function is a two-way street ' dispatchers can also relay critical information to the drivers via text message.


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