The Savannah R-III School district is getting tech-savvy with a new school bus tracking app.
On Tuesday the district launched an App called "Durham Bus Tracker" for students who take the bus to and from school. It securely allows parents to track their child's bus and lets the bus charter Durham School Services communicate directly.
The App will display a map showing where the bus is in real time so that parents and students can time out pick ups and drop offs. The App is connected to GPS tracking systems inside each of the school buses.
Savannah R-III Superintendent Dr. Eric Kurre said the service will be especially useful during the colder months because parents will know if the bus is running late before their kids are left to wait in the cold.
"I think there's a need [for this] everywhere," Dr. Kurre said. "Any way you can communicate and give people more information about the services you offer that affect your child. I think that's always a good thing."
Dr. Kurre said the Savannah school buses typically run close to the scheduled times, but things could always come up that cause delays.
Durham School Service general manager Aaron Lytton said the App is a great not only for convenience of knowing when your bus is going to show up, it also allows the bus service to send direct messages.
"Should there be an issue where we cannot get to a students house due to weather or an accident, we can message that specific student and let them know what the situation would be," Lytton said.
Dr. Kurre agreed that the message aspect is the most useful part of the app. While he said that he would like to have more personal communication with a parent if their child's bus was involved in an accident, he said the app could be utilized for things of that nature.
The app only launched publicly on Tuesday, but both Lyton and Kurre said they've received positive feedback from faculty members with children in the district who have been using it for the past month as a trial.
To use the app, a parent would need to input the student's name and student ID number for security purposes. Lytton said the App can only be used for students who are registered to ride the bus and will not recognize students who do not ride the bus.
The App will only be used for regular school routes and not for field trips. It is available for all schools in the Savannah R-III school district, grades K-12.