New app tracks school bus travel

New app tracks school bus travel.

BOISE - These day's there seems to be an app for anything.

You can order a pizza, check your bank account, and now - thanks to a Boise developer - follow your kid's bus route. 

It's called Predictable Ryde. You download it on your smartphone and it provides real-time GPS coordinates of where your child's bus is.

Matt Vuturo developed the app, as a way for parents and schools to monitor bus routes.

"For schools its fleet tracking and analytics and for parents it's a mobile friendly app that they can use to tell when their child's bus is near," Vuturo said.

The way it works is a GPS modem is placed in the bus. The modem then connects over cellular network and sends messages about every 10 seconds.

Parents can then log on and see where their child's bus is. Schools can use the app to see where all of their buses are.

"It provides them an estimated time of arrival, and then it will also send them text alerts as the bus is in the area," Vuturo said.

First Student - the bus service that's used for some districts in the Valley - say their buses are already equipped with GPS, but are in favor of the idea. 

"Any time that we have that opportunity to get that information in the hands of parents is certainly a good thing," Chris Kemper, a spokesperson for First Student, said.

The app is free to school districts, but costs $4.99 a month for parents or $39.99 for a year subscription.

"The school has to invite the parent to subscribe. So if you don't have an invitation from the school you're not able to subscribe," Vuturo said.

Vuturo says they do that for security reasons. He added they also encrypt all the information that travels back and forth between the mobile apps and the server.

"I think it would be a great idea. You want to know where your child is, let’s say they get out at 3:05 and they're supposed to be home at 3:45, A to B, let’s see where they're at," One parent told KTVB. Another agreed. 

"Yeah, she's a second- grader and we live on a busy highway. It's really crazy."

Schools can also use the app to monitor where each one of their school busses are, on their route.

"It will also provide other historical reports so they can go back and see driver performance. They can check to see how well the bus is running in those routes. Where they're slowing down. Where they're speeding up," Vuturo said. "So maybe they can optimize their routes to either save time, save fuel, save wear and tear on the bus."

Predictable Ryde is an app that the school districts do have to get on board. A spokesperson with the Boise School District says they're aware of other apps that are like Predictable Ryde, but have nothing set. He added it's something the district would have to discuss.

Copyright 2016 KTVB


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