New school bus app could give parents peace of mind

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NORTH RIDGEVILLE, Ohio – It’s never easy waiting for the bus in winter weather, but students do it every day.

The North Ridgeville School District knows the experience can be challenging, and may have a solution.

"I was looking for a way to improve the communication between us and the community, the parents,” said Transportation Supervisor Thomas Dane with the North Ridgeville School District.

He said after doing some research he found ‘My Stop,' a new smartphone app that lets parents track their kid’s bus and see the estimated time of arrival.

"I think it'll help us because we get tons of phone calls in the garage asking where's the bus and it's not a minute by minute thing. We get weather. We get traffic, and they can check the app and see where we're at," said bus driver, Chuck Nowak.

Right now, ‘My Stop’ is being tested on two buses. Both had trackers installed recently.

If this program becomes permanent, every school bus in the district would be outfitted with a tracker. It's expected to cost about $44,000.

Dane said the price tag is worth it.

"This GPS tracker gives us a lot of information. It's a data recorder for the bus, so while the buses are out doing their routes, I can get alerts, even if a bus was in an accident. I'll get an immediate alert,” he said. “If they are speeding, any harsh cornering, any kinds of stops or where they're at. I can track on my computer like a moving Google map.”

The Board of Education could vote on the program as soon as next month.

In the meantime, the district launched a survey on its website to get public input. There will also be a public meeting on January 28 at 6 p.m. in the Education Center community room.

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