GREENSBORO, N.C. — Guilford County Schools plans to roll out the “Here Comes The Bus app” for GCS by the end of this month.
“We are hoping to complete the roll out on Jan. 31 with all of our schools and families having access to that program,” Nicole Portee, senior executive director, Operations Systems said.
The Guilford County Board of Education approved a contract in 2018, to start using the technology which allows parents to track their child’s bus in real-time.
Portee said GCS was looking into ways to provide better communication to families about when the bus was going to arrive and aiming to create better transparency and communication with families.
“Here Comes The Bus seemed to be the right application for us to actually use to support our families,” she said.
According to a GCS news release from 2018, the system will record bus drivers’ drive time and attendance, which will result in a more accurate timecard for drivers.
Guilford County Schools Executive Director of Transportation Marlon Watson said the app will help parents to identify when the bus is going to arrive at the stop as well as being able to identify when the bus is going to arrive at the school.
Watson said the app will reduce the amount of phone calls that transportation currently receives and will improve the communication between transportation and the school.
“When busses break down in route, this will help answer some of those questions because we can push the information out to parents quicker. If we have a sub bus on the route that particular day,” Watson said. “The sub bus driver most of the time is unfamiliar with the route, so we can push that information out to parents as well. And if we have any accidents, if busses are involved in accidents, we can push that information out to parents.”
Watson said the app is “very important”.
“You don’t want to have kids waiting on cold mornings like this morning as well as earlier this week,” he said. “You don’t want to have them waiting besides the road with no communication.”
Portee said there are thousands of kids that are waiting at bus stops and thousands of families that trust “those yellow buses” to show up and take their students to school every day.
“It’s important because they want to know that the bus has arrived and their student is on their way to get a great education,” she said.
Portee said GCS has successfully rolled out the Here Comes The Bus app across the district and has over 120 schools.
The app was developed by Synovia Solutions.
According to Guilford County Schools, the system is used in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools and in Winston Salem-Forsyth County Schools, and elsewhere across the country.
Download the Here Comes The Bus app on Google Play or the App Store.
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