Tired of worrying about whether your kids will miss their school bus every morning? There’s an app for that. And this fall parents in Downingtown Area School District can pull out their smartphones to check exactly where that bus is and when it’s expected to arrive at the nearest bus stop.
“We are excited to be on the forefront of technology inside school transportation,” Transportation Supervisor Jeffrey Simmons said in announcing the app. “Not only should SafeStop provide peace of mind and a new level of convenience for our parents, but it will help us analyze in real-time how our transportation system is performing. When our families can know where their bus is and when to expect it at the bus stop, it makes everyone’s day a lot easier. We welcome this type of innovation, and we are confident our parents will, too.”
The county’s largest school district will become one of the first to utilize the app, SafeStop, following its pilot rollout in New York, Florida and South Carolina last fall. More than 190 school vehicles have already been equipped with the necessary Verizon Networkfleet GPS systems, and all parents have to do is sign up through the district’s online parent portal, register and download the app, which is available at both the Apple App Store and Google Play.
“When we developed SafeStop, it was designed with the parents in mind,” SafeStop Director of Sales Patrick Gallagher said. “Not only does it help parents plan their day a little better, the information our app provides can bring an enormous sense of security. The demand for our app is increasing because parents see the benefits of having this information at their fingertips. Our goal is to reach full participation with the parents in every community.”
In addition to a real-time map and ETA, the app also provides alerts and messages to parents about school closures, delayed openings or even important dates and events coming up at the school.