HOUSTON (FOX 26) - It's become an unfortunate back to school tradition: overcrowded buses, missed stops, and occasionally minor chaos, at least for the first few days. HISD is trying to make sure things go smoothly.
"We're pretty confident that they're going to work in tandem and work a lot better," said General Manager of Transportation John Wilcots.
The "they" he's talking about is a series of apps.
Last year, the district rolled out a program where kids had to swipe their student ID cards while getting on and off the buses. That way, parents would know if their kids were on board. Now they have a system called "Safe Stop." It’s an app that actually allows parents to monitor the progress of their child's bus in real time. While anyone can download the app, you need to have your child's student ID information to access their status information.
They is also a chat app that will allow parents to talk with the district about transportation issues.
"The goal is to have a tool that we can communicate easily with parents and track that communication." Said Wilcots.
Nothing is fool proof. HISD transports 20,000 students twice a day. That's 40,000 bus rides every school day in Houston traffic.
There might be some problems in the beginning, and by "might", they mean will be. So, be patient those first few weeks.
"That is the key. Parents need to know the reality is we are going to have hiccups. We want parents and the community to be patient with us.”
You can learn more about the apps by going to the district’s website.