School bus tracker app included in IWCS budget

Published 4:18 pm Monday, February 24, 2020

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...


Want to know if your child’s school bus is running late? As Apple might have said in 2009, “There’s an app for that.”

Or rather, there will be next school year if you’re a parent whose child attends Isle of Wight County Schools. Included in the school division’s proposed 2020-2021 budget is funding to equip each of the county’s school buses with GPS technology that will allow parents to locate and track their children’s buses using their smartphones.

The app, according to IWCS spokeswoman Lynn Briggs, is called StopFinder — a product of the division’s existing bus routing software provider, TransFinder. According to StopFiner’s website, the app is designed by parents for parents, and enables registered users to see their children’s bus schedules in real time. Parents will be provided with a secure login, Briggs explained, and will also be able to grant extended family members access on a temporary basis if they wish to do so.

The app is anticipated to cost the division $6,200 annually. Briggs added that the division’s decision to include this service in its proposed budget was the result of a survey IWCS distributed to parents in 2019, which she said resulted in overwhelming support for the idea.

A public hearing on the proposed budget is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 27, in the Smithfield High School auditorium during a meeting of the Isle of Wight County School Board, which will begin at 6 p.m.