DORCHESTER COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - Dorchester District Two is launching a new tool that will address issues the transportation department has had with their school buses.
The district has 167 bus routes that run each day.
Those buses cater to more than 16,000 students that rely on the buses to get to and from school.
Last year, the transportation department had over 3,500 complaints related to bus issues. Most of the complaints were about bus delays or communication.
Steve Shope, Director of the Transportation for DD2, said that the department has always been frustrated with not having the ability to communicate directly with parents.
“If one bus is 30 minutes late and for some reason the word didn’t get out to those parents that are riding that school bus, and now they’re waiting, standing out in the dark, you can understand the frustration,” Shope said.
The district is now planning on trying to correct these issues by installing a GPS tracker device in all their buses. Parents, staff, and dispatchers will be able to track where the buses are through an app.
The app is called Edulog Parent Portal Lite and is free to download. Those who download the app will then be given a school code that connects to all the buses from that school.
Users will be able to set track the buses in real time and set up notifications that will be sent when the bus passes a point on the route.
Shope hopes this will cut down on the waiting period for parents and students, because they will be able to see when a bus is late. The app will also notify the school or parents, in the event of an emergency or if a bus is going to be early.
“This gives us the ability to communicate because we’re going to have late buses,” said Shope. “ As long as we can have that ability to communicate quickly and easily, then we have a big gain and I think parents are going to appreciate that a lot.”
Shope says the department is actively working on transportation improvements.
They are also training bus drivers and are coordinating with the state to replace buses that are too old.
The school codes will be released on Wednesday.