Parents with children traveling by bus in the Cape Henlopen School District will soon be able to see real-time bus locations via an app on their phone.
Cape operations manager 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 given time of day from assigned drop-off and pick-up locations, Hale said, so parents can see if the bus is running late. Parents of multiple children will be able to see the locations of multiple buses, he said.
“What this app does is it gives our families the ability to see exactly when that bus will be there,” Hale said. “It’s pretty amazing how accurate it is, within 10 feet of where the bus is moving.”
Hale said the app, which was used in his former district, will be especially useful in bad weather and will reduce the number of calls received by 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, which administrators can use to modify routes if necessary, Hale said.
Cape Transport Supervisor Richard Crisci said the implementation schedule on district and contract buses is set for September/October, with implementation on Sussex Consortium buses due to take place in January/February .
Sussex Consortium buses will be fitted with GPS and software in the second phase as these buses have on-board monitors who can communicate with parents if the bus is running late, Crisci said.
Regular bus lines are not staffed with monitors and carry more students, Crisci said, so they were chosen first to be implemented with the aim of equipping all buses.
More information will be provided by the district to parents as the program nears implementation, Hale said. When ready for Cape Town District, the app will be available on Android or iPhone devices as well as online at whereestlebus.com.