Waiting for the school bus to arrive used to be a bit of a guessing game, causing a lot of headaches for schools, parents, and students alike. These days, though, technology has come to the rescue with school bus apps! These clever tools help track bus locations using GPS, providing information via apps. Some also offer services like individual student tracking or analytical data to help schools refine their transportation routes. If your school or district is ready to try a school bus app, these are the top picks in 2023.
This is one of the most popular school bus apps, with customizable options for each district’s needs. The app itself is free for families to use, with no limits on the number of users. In addition to route tracking, districts can also opt to have students scan themselves as they get on and off, so families have more exact tracking. Plus, this app can help manage staffing, inspections, and more.
This was the first widely used school bus app. It includes GPS tracking and student ridership options like the ability for parents to be notified when their student gets on or off the bus. Districts install a simple-to-use tablet in each bus, and parents sign up for the free app to get notifications and track routes. WheresTheBus’s cloud-based software makes it easy to use from any device.
This full-service app provides popular features like GPS and real-time tracking of buses and students for daily routes. It also helps schools manage additional bus usage for sports and extracurriculars, field trips, and more. There’s even a ride-sharing app to help parents plan their own car-share routes. School Bus Tracker’s software is completely customizable, so your district can get what they need without paying for features you don’t want.
In addition to all the traditional school-bus tracking features, BusWhere? can help large campuses manage shuttles too. Districts can track their bus fleets and get data on fuel usage and safety, then plan efficient routes that save time and money. The rider app notifies families when a bus is close, cutting down on wait time and other inconveniences.
When student safety is your first priority, look to Treker. They make it easy for even the youngest students to use features like a hands-free student check-on system with a backpack fob or new face ID. If a child is accidentally left on a bus, the system notifies administrators and local law enforcement immediately. Parents, drivers, and admins have easy access to tracking and instant messaging. Plus, districts can use data from the app to refine their routes as needed.
If you’d like to try out a school bus app without cost or commitment, look into TripSpark (formerly known as Viafy). They’ll give you a 60-day trial for several pilot buses at your school, so you can see how things work. Then work with their specialists to customize bus fleet management that works best for you, from basic GPS and route tracking to complete services like safety alerts, special trip planning, and more.
This app is part of the Transfinder suite, which provides schools with a variety of tools for bus fleet management. Parents can track multiple kids easily, plus use two-way messaging to stay in touch. They can also set GeoAlerts so they know when the bus is getting close, and view a history of arrival and departure times.
Zonar gives schools and districts complete tracking and routing information, while their MyView parent app lets parents stay on top of locations, arrival times, and route changes. Parents can set additional authorized viewers so that others like childcare providers or family members can track child info as needed too.
Parents with multiple students can track their kids all on the same screen. This app also makes it easy for schools to communicate with parents about route changes, delays, and other transportation issues. DistrictView’s accompanying dashboard gives superintendents and fleet managers the real-time info and data they need to make smart decisions every day.
Provide families with all the information they need in one simple app, available on any device. GPS trackers provide up-to-date info so students don’t need to wait for late buses in the cold or rain. Versatrans’ software suite also helps schools manage things on the back end to plan efficient, fuel-saving routes.
Give parents real-time notifications when their child boards or gets off the bus, including the location of their stop. The app also provides GPS location data, eliminating calls to the school wondering where a bus is when it’s late. It even shows how long a bus spends at any given stop, letting schools evaluate the overall efficiency of their routes.
Edulog provides complete transportation system solutions, and their Parent Portal app gives families helpful information about bus routes, times, locations, drop-offs and pickups, and more. Their platform emphasizes efficiency, accuracy, and safety.
Families can access My Ride on smartphones, tablets, laptops, and more. They’ll need a secure and confidential log-in, ensuring privacy for everyone involved. Schools get help setting routes, and parents and students use GPS tracking to know exactly when their bus will arrive each day.
As their name suggests, Safe Fleet’s school bus apps put student safety first. They take a whole-system approach, incorporating safety features like cameras, traffic-stop arms, and other technology in their buses. Parents can use the integrated app to track riders and routes, while schools monitor efficiency and safety on the back end.
Not all schools run their own bus fleets, and that’s when software options like those from Track School Bus can be a lifesaver. They offer programs for every type of transportation: school buses, public buses, or privately owned transport companies. They even have a program specifically for very young children. The app allows parents to easily contact school authorities with concerns. Schools can also choose to add video surveillance and audio messaging features. This is a robust app ideal for urban districts who use multiple types of transport.
SchoolPass offers a School Ridership Management Program with all the standard features, but that’s just one of this company’s suite of programs. They can help you safely arrange drop-off/pickup car lines; monitor attendance, hall passes, and school visitors; and manage after-school activities. All of these programs can work together with a school bus app to help schools and families keep students safe and accounted for.
What school bus apps would you recommend to others? Come share your thoughts and ask for advice in the WeAreTeachers HELPLINE group on Facebook.