Earlier in the school year, I probably mentioned the nightmare endured by Ryder’s bus service. For those of you just joining us, let me recap (oh, I get sick just thinking about it!). Last year, we enrolled Ryder in a new school, to address his reading disability, and at the time, we were told he would receive bus service from the Board of Education. It was a relief to hear this, AT FIRST, because with three kids in three different schools, it would have been near impossible to get them to school on time; especially during those weeks when Jason was out of town.
Well, cut to the spring when Ryder was FINALLY assigned a bus route, IN MAY. Mornings were hectic, to say the least, so as the beginning of this latest school year, we were psyched that Ryder would be on a bus from day one. Little did we know that the bus routes were a mess, over capacity with routes that took longer than bus companies initially estimated. We relived all that bus stress all over again.
The bus was consistently late for pickup and drop off for the first six weeks. Eventually it was easier taking him to and from school on our own. How bad was it, you ask? Well, his first bus was assigned stops in Staten Island and Brooklyn, prior to Ryder’s pickup, causing him to arrive over 1 hour late every day. We finally arranged for another bus route, which on day one of service just didn’t bother to show up for the AM pickup! From day to day, it was constant uncertainty if we needed to run to get our car from the parking garage in the mornings. BUT, it wasn’t just morning hours. On more than 4 occasions, I received calls from school during dismissal, stating that the bus hadn’t shown up or was running late. I mean, what a ridiculous way to start a school year! Jason was traveling often, Gemma was starting a new school, and all three kids had vigorously packed after school schedules. I look back now and wonder how the heck we ever kept our heads above water.
Coming off my transportation turmoil I had to share what I learned about this service. It’s an easy-to-use website and app, which enables users to see the location of their child’s school bus on a smartphone, tablet, or personal computer. With this, you know when the bus is near, so your child can be outside at just the right time.
Here Comes the Bus uses GPS technology to locate and track participating school buses. It is powered by software from Synovia Solutions, who are experts at tracking data and have been providing to fleet managers across North America for over 15 years.
The app is available at no cost to families in any school district that has purchased the service.
How can I get my district to add Here Comes the Bus?
Talk to other parents to help spread the word.
Be sure to discuss it with decision-makers, such as your superintendent, school board members, and transportation director.
This is what school administrators see: the real-time location of every school bus.
Looking back, if this service was around at the start of our school year, it would have saved me quite a few gray hairs. Every parent needs this, especially those of us in New York City, since some can’t see the bus from their window, and most of us leave kids waiting in lobbies or on street corners.
BRAVO for modern technology!