Peace of mind for parents—Albuquerque Public Schools is considering an app that may do just that when school buses are behind schedule.
Juanita Garcia says this is the last year she and her two boys will walk home from Dolores Gonzales Elementary.
“We live down the street, but when we move they’re going to ride the bus,” Garcia says.
When they do, there may be a GPS tracker on their school bus. APS is considering integrating the Safe Stop app into their school buses.
“It’s more immediate information in real time,” says Monica Armenta, Executive Director of Communications.
The app would let parents know things like if the bus is running late or early, or if they’ve run into a problem.
“The district tries very hard to be proactive to provide students and families all of the tools necessary to keep track of a student’s academic success, to know where they are in the school day,” Armenta says.
Garcia says it’s an app that could come in handy for busy parents.
“Having to put a tracker on the bus sounds pretty good because sometimes the parents are running late, or you’re sitting here for hours and you don’t know where your kids at,” Garcia says.
The plan is to launch a pilot program with a few bus routes sometime in the next school year to see how well it works. APS officials say there are still major issues to figure out.
“Not all areas in town have great cell phone coverage, so you need technology to be in place. You have to make sure you have all the support…there are no dead spots where it’s not available, so we’re looking at all of that now,” Armenta says.
The district says there is no set date on when the pilot program would start or what schools would be first in line for the technology.
The plan is to eventually equip all 220 buses owned by APS. The GPS trackers would not be required for buses run by private contractors.
APS could not give provide a cost for the program.