New Haven school district launching app that will allow parents to track student’s school buses

New Haven

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – The New Haven school district is launching a new app that will help parents track their student’s school buses and be able to anticipate arrival times.

On Friday, New Haven Superintendent Dr. Iline Tracey joined Mayor Justin Elicker at Betsy Ross Magnet School to discuss the new app that the school district has been piloting there for several months.

Betsy Ross School Principal Jennifer Jenkins said, “This is a time where we’re anxious and want to know if our children are safe at all times and so knowing where the buses are and if they’re running late or on time or even a little early helps in that plight.”

The FirstView app shows the location and direction of a student’s school bus as well as the stop schedule for the current day. The app uses route and real-time GPS data to post estimated arrival times.  

Mayor Elicker spoke from his experience as a parent of school-aged kids, “I’m sure every parent knows you’re trying on this timeline to get them going, get them on the bus…Now you can figure out when the bus is on its way.”

The school district says it’s a secure app. You must have your student’s ID number to unlock the specific routes and track them.

The app goes hand-in-hand with the current bus driver shortage cities and towns across the state and the nation are experiencing.

Right now, New Haven has about 301 routes daily, and on any given day they are about 15 drivers short.

Director of Transportation Carl Jackson said, “If this tool can give parents just a little bit of comfort in the morning and in the evening then it will be worthwhile.”

The mayor Friday also said he’s teaming up with the superintendent and director of transportation to create a task force to help expedite bus driver hiring.

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