New BISD bus app to help bring peace of mind to parents

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BRYAN, Tex. (KBTX) – The Bryan Independent School District is set to roll out a new school bus tracking system this fall.

It’ll allow parents and the school district officials to know where all buses are at all times. This comes after the district overhauled its bus route plan last year because of constant delays and confusion.

"The bus situation last year was a joke," said Malory Espitia, a mother of two Bryan ISD students.

Espitia says getting her kids to and from school last year was a headache.

"I didn't know where my child was,” said Espitia. “It was two hours before I even knew where she was."

That was just the first day of school. Espitia says throughout much of the school year there were delays and confusion.

Transportation Director Warren Lanphier admits there were challenges before the district made major changes.

"Buses running as late as they were, not being able to give parents accurate arrival times," said Lanphier.

This fall the district will roll out new tracking technology that help give parents more peace of mind.

"Safe Stop will tell us, the parent and the school, what time the bus is going to get to the home or to the school,” said Lanphier.

The app works with the districts new GPS system ZONAR. It has a map parents can use to locate the bus and their child. You can only access the information if you have a child in the district.

"We can really build on it to make it safer for students, more efficient and to make us fiscally responsible.”” said Lanphier.

Espitia says the Safe Stop app is a good idea for the district, but she is cautiously optimistic.

"I would use the app,” said Espitia.

The district says the new software will also do a whole host of things to help bring down costs, from tracking the health of each bus, to data stored while the bus is in motion.

Lanphier says the system could save them nearly $50,000 because of its ability to cut down on the number of times buses are left idling.

Officials expect the equipment to be installed starting this month and should be ready for use this fall.