Parents whose children ride the bus to attend Gering and Scottsbluff schools will soon be able to track their progress to and from home through their smartphone.
Bus operator First Student Thursday unveiled an new bus tracking system during Gering Public Schools monthly media day.
Bryan Flansburg with First Student says the FirstView app uses GPS on the buses to communicate with the system, and parents can customize it to receive a variety of alert notifications. “If the parent wants to know five minutes before the bus gets to their bus stop, they can put it in their phone and it will push a message to them saying ‘the bus is five minutes away’,” says Flansburg. “It’s all based on GPS and geo-fencing. Each stop will have a geo-fence around it and the GPS knows how long it takes before that bus gets there.”
The system also lets First Student communicate any issues affecting individual buses or the entire fleet, and school district officials have a dashboard version that will allow them to monitor all buses in real time and track how each bus is doing making their stops on time.
Gering Schools Business Manager Tim Meisner says the tentative date set for the system to go live for both Gering and Scottsbluff is April 18.
Flansburg says one other thing his company has requested from FirstView is the ability to track buses involved in moving students to and from activities outside the schools, giving parents a way to know when they need to be on hand to pick up their kids at the end of a trip.