MARIETTA, Ga. - Wouldn't it be nice to know exactly what time the school bus is going to arrive? The City of Marietta School Board just approved a new tracking app to launch this fall, giving parents the power stay in the know while their child is on the go.
Marietta City school buses already have GPS tracking on them, now that technology is being turned over to the parents so they can know exactly where the bus is.
Carline Simay is not only a bus driver, but she also puts her two children on school buses every day. "If there's any type of situation, whatever it may be, I'm able to track it and see, so that gives me peace of mind actually," Carline says.
She's looking forward to the "Ride 360" app giving Marietta parents the chance to track their student's bus. "We are very excited to bring this solution to our school system and to our parents and community. It will allow our parents to take a little more control of the whereabouts of their children, also the bus schedules and times," says Erick Hofstetter, the Assistant Superintendent of Operations for Marietta City Schools.
With the app, parents will be able to get alerts when the bus is getting close to their stop. "They can set up a notification, it will come like all of their notifications like Facebook, Instagram, those types of notifications. If they enable it, it will let them know an ETA that we set up for the time, so if it's five minutes away, they'll get that notification," explains Special Education Transportation Supervisor Lance Johnson.
On the flip side, they'll also be able to find out if the bus is running behind schedule for some reason. "Living in metro Atlanta, we're going to face traffic delays all the time, that's not something that we can control. Instead of parents standing at a bus stop wondering where their student is, we'll also be able to send them notifications to let them know the bus may be delayed for an accident or a mechanical failure and at least they'll know their students are safe," adds Transportation Director Kimberly Ellis.
The school board approved the new app made by Tyler Technologies last week at a cost of $34,341 a year. They plan to roll it out sometime in the fall, but they say it may not be working the very first day of school.
To keep information secure, parents will need to answer a set of questions about their child to use the app.