Parents in Collier County can now keep track of their kids who ride the bus on the WheresTheBus app.
“It tells me where the school is and what route the bus is going to take, so I actually know how it’s going to arrive,” Heather Mikes said.
Every morning on a school day, Mikes expects the school bus to arrive at 8:18 a.m. to take her sixth-grader, Riley, to school.
Collier County Public Schools launched it news app as a new tool for parents to let them know if the bus is on time or running behind.
“This allows me to say, ‘Oh, shoot. We have three more minutes to get shoes on and in the car and get to the bus stop,’” Mikes said. “Because we actually have three bus riders in our house.”
Mikes showed us how the app works, while she waited at the bus stop with Riley. GPS tracking pinpoints how many miles a bus is away from your stop and how many minutes before it arrives.
“I’m happy it gives my mom a sense of safety and relief,” Riley said. “And I’m glad that she knows where my siblings are at all times.”
We were granted access to the school district’s main transportation hub for the county. The county has 364 buses, and they transport 20,000 students to and from school every day.
“If a bus is running late, a parent can choose how they would like to receive that message, email, text message, phone call,” said Chad Oliver, executive director of the school district. “And they’ll be alerted the bus is running late or behind. This app is another layer to that.
The school district spent $28,000 to launch and operate the app. Only parents and students registered in the district can use it.
“The app is working great,” Mikes said. “The bus and the app are working in real time.”