Synovia Solutions has launched an app, Here Comes the Bus, that alerts parents that their child's bus is near. 

Also a website, Here Comes the Bus gives parents the real-time location of their child's school bus on a computer, tablet or mobile phone and is available for the 2015-16 school year, said Elizabeth James, director of product strategy at Synovia Solutions.

The Here Comes the Bus website is designed to keep parents informed as to when the bus will arrive so they can send their child to the stop on time and avoid long wait times, particularly in inclement weather. Making the information available also improves a school district's customer service to parents and reduces bus-related phone calls, company officials said.

School districts can offer parents basic and/or full access to the app, James said. Basic access lets parents view on any device the real-time location of the bus on the Here Comes the Bus website for free. Full access gives parents the option to purchase the app, for iPhone or Android, which includes push notifications, in addition to receiving the information on the website. Parents will be automatically notified when their child’s bus enters a certain perimeter, so they can be prepared to arrive at the stop in time for their child to catch the bus.

Key features of the app include a map display of the exact location of the bus so parents can see whether the bus is on time, or running early or late; student arrival and departure information at the bus stop and the school; notifications of bus arrival times; and student privacy, with private ID numbers issued to parents so they can only access information on their child’s bus.

The app is built on Synovia’s Silverlining platform, on which all the company’s software solutions are built, and integrates six of its tracking tools. This enables Here Comes the Bus to manage issues such as buses being substituted at the last minute, James explained.

“Our back-end system is designed to keep updating information for school districts and school bus contractors, who are now conditioned to look at the buses as parents would,” she added.

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