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Assistive Technology Blog

Nov
10 2015

The Wheels on the Bus

By Jean Des Roches, AT Program Director


I happened to notice a school van the other day. I was transported back to a day that I will never forget, a day my son, when he was only aged 7, stepped off the “special needs van” at the sitter’s home, holding a bag of McDonald’s French Fries! (FYI…my son is 28 now and doing fabulously well, but I swear I can trace some of my gray hair directly back to this very event.)

WHAT!? The sitter called me immediately to ask me if I knew that the bus driver had obviously taken my son off route. NO! I DID NOT KNOW! Needless to say, the bus owner’s “father-in-law who was just filling in for the day” probably still knows my name and might still be looking in his rear-view mirror to see if I am following him.

A parent’s worst nightmare for sure! Or maybe it was the time my husband attempted to follow the van to school (because my son had forgotten his lunch) but couldn’t keep up with it on the highway because it was traveling at 80 MPH!

The point of reliving these horror stories is that when I saw that little bus/van, it made me think that parents today must have a better way to track their children’s whereabouts than we did ‘back in the day.’ Thankfully, of course there is, from wearable technology to the locator options on their cell phones, there are ways to track their whereabouts. So I came home and did some quick research to see if there might be “an app for that.”

Here Comes the Bus appHere Comes the Bus is a free app for both Android and iOS that can tell you the exact location of your child’s bus at any given moment.

[NOTE: Although the app is free, you must contact your school district and/or Synovic Solutions in order to enable the tracking options and certainly there will be a cost.]

You can also see arrival and departure times and receive updates via email or push notification. Privacy issues are handled by providing each parent with a unique “private ID” that allows you to monitor only your child, so you know that no one is doing that but you.

“Enjoy the little fun things - like taking your kids to school - before they're all grown up.” -Will Ferrell

Thank GOD Matt can drive himself now. What about you? What app or device are you using to ensure the transportation safety of your loved-ones?

Warmest Regards,
Jean

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