JACKSONVILLE, Ark. – The Jacksonville-North Pulaski School District is just like any other school district that has bus mishaps in the early days of school.
But they are hoping to limit those mishaps even further going forward.
The district will roll out an app for parents called ‘Here Comes the Bus’.
The district has been testing it out for a couple of years now and will finally go live on Friday, September 3.
Phillip Lloyd is the route supervisor for the district and says the app will help keep parents informed about their children on the bus.
“Their student got on at that stop and what time they got on and then in the afternoon what time and what place they got off,” Lloyd said.
Ara Askew’s son rides the bus and she feels the new app gives her comfort knowing her son is where he is supposed to be and when.
“It’s just pretty reassuring especially in the afternoons when I know he’s home,” she said.
She also said it will be nice for him because she will get a notification when the bus is within a mile of bus stop. In bad weather situations, he can stand in their garage until it’s close enough so he’s not standing out there in bad conditions.
“I think it’s also a safety factor to you know you don’t want your kid just hanging out on the corner for you know 10, 15 minutes,” she said.
Students will scan their school ID badges when they get on the bus. If a student forgets their badge, the driver can look up their information and manually add them to the bus.
Lloyd says students will never be denied entrance to the bus in the mornings but they can be if a student is getting on the wrong bus in the afternoons.
Askew said she would be terrified if that happened to her son.
“I got on the wrong bus when I was a child and I still have that I would never want that to happen to either one of my kids,” she exclaimed.
JNPSD officials say this is another layer of security for their bus riders. Which is something Askew is all in favor of.
“Yeah I love the app I mean it’s and makes me feel very reassured that my son getting on the bus and he’s getting on the right bus,” she explained.
The app cost the district approximately $30,000 for the program lease and equipment on the busses.
The district plans to have the hardware on all 38 of their busses but only a couple have not had it installed yet.