NYC Parents Can Track Their Kids' School Bus Routes This Year

NYC Parents Can Track Their Kids' School Bus Routes This Year

You can now receive updates on your child’s bus location through “Via for Schools.”

Every day, the New York City Department of Education transports 150,000 students on 9,000 bus routes to and from school. This school year, for the first time, parents can track all 9,000 bus routes on a mobile app and receive information on bus location, student ridership, route changes, and vehicle delays. This is made possible through a NYC Department of Education partnership with Via, according to a press release. “Via for Schools,” an integrated communication platform, will route and track buses and communicate with schools. Any bus that does not have a GPS installed by the first day of school will receive GPS capabilities through GeoTab.

School staff and Department of Education administrators will have web access to the entire transportation system and the ability to share system-wide updates, such as weather issues, with parents, bus drivers, and students. Parents received bus route information two weeks ahead of the school year for the first time ever this summer.

“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,” said Schools Chancellor Richard A. Carranza in a press release. “We are grateful for the City Council's advocacy, leadership and partnership. Safe and reliable transportation is critical for all families, and we’re committed to getting it right this year.”

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Bus drivers will now be working with the “Bus Driver App,” which provides real-time navigation and digitally records student ridership. Drivers’ routes should be optimized for daily traffic conditions. About two thirds of the 9,000 bus routes in the city serve special education students; these buses are equipped with GPS capabilities through Teletrac Navman, providing the Office of Pupil Transportation with live information on the locations of these buses. Parents can receive information for their child’s particular route by calling OPT. This change streamlines the previous process, where OPT had to contact the bus company through two-way radios to get information and relay it back to parents.

“Via for Schools” will build upon the past year of improvements the DOE has made to positively change the city’s school transportation system. Meghan Cirrito, District 30 parent and Gantry Parent Association President, expressed her feelings in a press release. “As New York City school parents, the addition of GPS to school buses adds not only peace of mind but accountability,” she said.

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