IP Radios Keep TAPS Buses Connected

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If you’re a TAPS driver you already know that using a cell phone while in motion is a serious offense. It’s a matter of safety and nothing is more important than accident-free miles on TAPS routes. But when you need to reach a driver on route, what’s the solution?

The IPR5000 2-way radio being installed in all TAPS buses.
The IPR5000 2-way radio being installed in all TAPS buses.

Today with the Internet being a primary route for communications, even mobile radio can connect people via Wi-Fi. TAPS Public Transit is now installing IP (Internet Protocol) radios to link vehicles with the agency’s central dispatching office in Sherman.

Manufactured by Link Communications, the IPR5000 is a push-to-talk radio that operates very much like how 2-way radios always have —speaking into a microphone, using a button to activate the transmitter. But that’s where the similarity ends.

Mike Holmes, TAPS Manager of IT Services, said the new radios offer reliability and versatility. “The IPR5000s being installed in the TAPS fleet can connect not only through a Wi-Fi connection, but can also access cell phone towers and satellites. Since TAPS is part of emergency response plans having multiple ways to connect is critical.”

Mobile 2-Way Radio’s 89-Year History

The first 2-way radio was tested by Bell Labs in 1924.
The first 2-way radio was tested by Bell Labs in 1924.

Bell Laboratories tested its first 2-way, voice-based, mobile radio system in 1924. So long as you had the room for the equipment and a King’s Ransom to buy it, you could have everything needed to communicate from your vehicles.

By 1948, wireless telephone service was available in almost 100 cities and highway corridors. Customers included utilities, truck fleet operators and reporters. However, with only 5,000 customers making 30,000 weekly calls, the service was far from commonplace.

By 1946, several companies were using mobile 2-way radios. This Chicago truck driver checking in with dispatch about a delivery change.
By 1946, several companies were using mobile 2-way radios. This Chicago truck driver checks in with dispatch about a delivery change.