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School districts offer new bus-tracking app to parents

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (July 27, 2015) -- A few central Indiana school districts are offering a new service to parents this year, letting them track their kids' school bus.

The app, called Here Comes the Bus, was developed by local company Synovia.

Wayne Township, Decatur Township and Avon Schools will all launch the program as school begins in the coming weeks. They're encouraging parents to sign up for it through district websites.

"They can set it up right now," Wayne Township Director of Transportation Janet Petrisin said.

Parents can use a phone, tablet or the internet to access it. You must have a school district code and student ID number to sign up, meaning no one outside the district can see bus locations.

"It's very secure," Petrisin said.

The app works by accessing GPS systems on board the buses, allowing a parent to view the bus location in real time and set up an alert system to text them when the bus is close to home.

"When the kids are in the house running a little late, mom and dad get a text (saying) the bus will be here in five minutes, you need to get out to the bus," Petrisin said.

Parents can also see when the bus arrives safely at school and when it's on the way home after school.

It's free to use the service online and $18.50 per year or $3.50 per month to get alerts on your phone or tablet.

Petrisin said she believed the technology is a wave of the future and will be in other districts in no time.

"I believe that it will go across the country," Petrisin said.

For more information, go to the Here Comes the Bus website here.

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