By Jonathan Sperling
The wheels on the bus go ‘round and ‘round, and you can know exactly where they’re moving, thanks to a partnership between the city’s Department of Education and ride share app Via.
“Via for Schools” is a state-of-the-art integrated, automated school bus routing, tracking, and communication platform that will launch in time for the first day of school on Thursday Sept. 5, Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza announced last week.
“We’ll have GPS in every bus on the first day of school, and through our partnership with Via, we’ll soon have a state-of-the-art app for families to track buses and get real-time automatic updates,” Carranza said in a statement.
The real-time tracking will be provided through a GPS-enabled tablet running the “Bus Driver App,” which gives drivers turn-by-turn navigation, while also digitally recording student ridership, according to the DOE.
Both families and students will have access to automatic updates via a mobile app. The app will also provide updates on bus location, student ridership, route changes and vehicle delays. School staff and DOE administrators will have web access to the entire transportation system and the ability to share system-wide updates, including weather-related road closures, with drivers, parents and students.
The DOE transports approximately 150,000 students on 9,000 bus routes to and from schools across the city each day.