New app to help Buffalo parents track school buses


BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Want to know where your child’s school bus is? Buffalo school officials have an app for that.

For many parents, the scariest time of the day starts when they wave goodbye to their child’s school bus, and then pray the bus made it to school safely.

Buffalo school officials have been tracking school buses with for years, and next month parents can, too.

The moment the weather takes a turn, Buffalo school officials can get hammered by phone calls from parents, worried about their kids’ buses running late.

All of the school buses now have GPS tracking devices, so school officials know exactly where they are at all times. Albert Diamico, Buffalo Public Schools Transportation Director, said BPS officials have had the GPS devices in their school buses since 2010.

Diamico said the system is called Zonar Time of Arrival, or ZTA, and it is being tested with parents at 6 schools right now.

“We get a lot of phone calls. It may alleviate a lot of those phones calls and also it will give a parent a piece of mind to know where their bus is, in relation to their stop.”

Damico explained parents will be able to log on to their parent portal online, enter their school code, and save the ZTA app to their personal computer or mobile device.

“They are going to look at–see where the bus is, in relation to what their stop time is. It is going to be a great tool for parents to not have to send their child out to the bus and have it wait for a long period of time.”

Williamsville Central Schools have been using a GPS app since earlier this year, but they use a different tracking technology.

Diamico said the ZTA uses a map to show the school bus route, where the bus is along the route, and calculates the estimated time of arrival, in real time. If the bus is delayed, ZTA can adjust the time of arrival.

Buffalo school officials believe the ZTA app will be ready for a full roll out sometime in December.

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