HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - This time next week, Huntsville students will be heading to bed after their first day back at school. Of course students aren't the only ones with first day jitters. Many parents are nervous about sending their children on the bus.
The district now has an app for that, and they sure do want parents to download it.
Last year we introduced you to Nichole Stone. She was livid when her child didn't get off at the proper bus stop. When he didn't show up at her door, she had no way to get in touch with the company that operates the buses - Durham School Services.
"It has to do with the communication between the bus, and the parents, and the school system when our children are on board," said Stone.
Partially because of this scenario and other issues in 2016, the district partnered with Durham to include Huntsville on a bus tracking app.
"It's a way for them to track their child's bus in real-time," says Huntsville City Schools' Spokesman, Keith Ward.
The app also gives guardians direct access to Durham's support line in case of an emergency.
"If it’s something of critical need, it bumps it up to the top of the priority list, so it’s another way to communicate between the parent and the bus service," says Ward.
The app is fairly easy to set up:
- Download the "Durham Bus Tracker app" from the Apple or Android app store.
- Set up a new account using your email and password
- Click on the plus sign at the top corner of the screen.
- Fill out the required information, including Huntsville, AL as your location and your student's ID number.
“That critical piece of information being that student ID because that’s whats going to be able to give you access to your child’s bus route," says Ward.
So far, the app seems to be the best thing, nobody seems to know about.
“I think when this was introduced last year, we only had a small percentage that took advantage of it,” he says.
Ward hopes that will change well before next week, when the buses start rolling out of the station.
“So we want to make sure they’re aware of it, they know where to find it, and they can take advantage of that to get another little piece of information,” says Ward.
For a full step-by-step instruction manual on how to download, set up and use the Durham Bus Tracker app, click here.