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A bus ride to school has suddenly become a much more hi-tech affair for some lucky Birmingham pupils. A local bus firm’s just rolled out double-decker Wi-Fi, and has also launched an RFID ticket trial.

The Big Green Bus Company, which runs school bus services, now offers free Wi-Fi access on all its 23 routes in Birmingham, following a smaller launch that started last year.

Young’uns equipped with iPhones, PSPs and netbooks with 3G dongles will get download speeds in excess of 2Mb/s, the company claimed.

'The bus broke down' won’t be a good enough excuse for being late to first period maths, either. Because the buses are also equipped with GPS transmission equipment, allowing teachers to check up on a bus' progress in real time through Google Maps.

Dave Palmer, Senior VP of Worldwide Sales at Icomera, the company behind the bus firm’s Wi-Fi and GPS rollout, said the technology “sets a new standard for other school bus service providers to follow”.

Over the next academic year, The Big Green Bus Company will also trial RFID bus passes. It hopes the trial will improve safety and security of its bus services. ®

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