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HUDSON -- School transportation is not an exact science.
However on April 27, with the release of the new Petermann Bus Tracker app, school transportation became a bit more precise.
"We are excited to partner with Petermann Bus to provide Bus Tracker exclusively for parents," Sheryl Sheatzley manager of communications and alumni outreach for Hudson City Schools, said. "This new app will help parents know if a bus is delayed for reasons such as traffic or weather."
Sheatzley also said the app, which is free to parents and the district, will "help to provide an additional layer of security and peace-of-mind if a bus is delayed while in route to pick up or drop off students."
The app was launched in conjunction with the district and Petermann Bus Transportation, the company which provides district transportation.
According to an announcement letter which was sent to parents April 27, along with a set of instructions, frequently asked questions and a troubleshooting guide, the app works in nearly real-time.
"Within 20-30 seconds accuracy, this tracking technology can help families see when buses are delayed for weather, traffic, or any other reason," according to the letter. "While close to real time tracking, it is still recommended that students are at their bus stops at the recommended time for pick up."
Brandy Hollis is the router and dispatcher for the district's transportation department and has worked closely with the schools and Petermann to iron out any kinks in the GPS app and get it launched on time.
The app uses a GPS which tells users were the bus is at, much like "friend finder" apps, Hollis said.
The app will allow parents who may be running behind, for whatever reason, to see where the bus is in the mornings so the child can make sure and not miss the bus.
"In the afternoon it gives you an idea of when your students will be home," Hollis added. "It's very useful right now because we have so much construction going on in downtown Hudson that our buses are running late. So the app let's parents know were the bus is at."
The secure app can be downloaded via the Apple App store or Google Play for smart phones or tablets, or access the site via the internet. However, parents also can choose to not use the app.
To set up an account a parent must have their child(ren)'s student ID number and last name.
"In a perfect world we would all be on time -- but that doesn't happen," Hollis said. "
For questions contact the Transportation Department at 330-653-3355 or visit it on Facebook.