Parents with children riding buses in the Cape Henlopen School District will soon be able to see the location of buses in real time via an app on their phones.
Cape Director of Operations Jason Hale presented information about the app, called Where’s the Bus, at the July 28 school board meeting.
The app will show how far in minutes and miles the bus is at any time of the day from the assigned drop-off and pickup locations, Hale said, so parents will be able to see if the bus is running late. Parents with several children will be able to view the locations of multiple buses, he said.
“What this app does is, it provides our families with an opportunity to see exactly when that bus will be there,” Hale said. “It’s pretty amazing how accurate this is, within 10 feet of where the bus is traveling.”
Hale said the app, which was used at his previous district, will be particularly helpful during inclement weather, and will reduce the number of calls fielded by the transportation and school offices regarding bus locations.
A GPS will be installed on each bus with corresponding software to provide the district with detailed reports on each bus, including speed, travel time, arrival and departure times, that administrators can use to make changes to routes if needed, Hale said.
Cape Supervisor of Transportation Richard Crisci said the timeline for implementation on district and contract buses is set for September/October, with implementation on Sussex Consortium buses to occur in January/February.
Sussex Consortium buses will be outfitted with the GPS and software in the second phase because these buses have monitors on board who can communicate with parents if the bus is running late, Crisci said.
Regular bus routes are not staffed by monitors and transport more students, Crisci said, so they were chosen first for implementation with the goal of having all buses equipped.
More information will be provided by the district to parents closer to the implementation of the program, Hale said. When ready for the Cape district, the app will be available on Android or iPhone devices as well as online at wheresthebus.com.