St. Thomas Aquinas Roman (STAR) Catholic School division has implemented a new, online bus notification system.
The interactive online system, which can be seen on STAR Catholic School websites is color coded to notify viewers of bus statuses; green means on time, yellow is delayed and red for cancelled.
As soon as a rider, parent or anyone else sees the yellow or red they will be able to click on the link to find out more on the issue.
“It’s something we always wanted to do,” said division secretary-treasurer Jeanne Fontaine. “Our transportation is quite complex.”
STAR school division does not own any of its own buses but contracts out and partners with other schools and divisions operating in the same communities.
Students riding buses manned by other divisions can also visit those divisional websites to find links to the STAR site and bus system.
Fontaine says the new system is handled manually by the transportation manager. As soon as a bus encounters a problem the manager is informed and can update the notification system. She explains it has a quick turn around. “They inform him immediately if they’re going to be late.”
“We do have backup if our transportation manager is unable to do that,” she added.
STAR is also in the midst of developing a smart phone app that uses the notification system. Fontaine says it will be good if students have to wait at cold bus stops, they can check it for updates and arrival times, as well as other necessary situations.
“We hope that that’s going to improve the transportation experience as well,” said Fontaine.
Still in development, the app is close to beta testing.