The North Royalton City School District has implemented a new GPS system in their school buses and vans that will make life a bit easier for students and parents. As a part of their new GPS system, the District has offered the app for parents called ‘Here Comes the Bus’. The “Here Comes the Bus” Synovia GPS Systems app for Schools was rolled out on October 1, of the 2019-20 school year.
According to North Royalton District officials, “Parents will receive a notification when the bus is approaching, and the transportation department can send messages to parents in the case that the bus has a delay or breaks down. The app uses a software called Synovia Solutions that was developed more than 16 years ago for company management of fleet vehicles.”
The development of this app began in 2001, when then recent graduates Thomas Polan and Brad Bishop imagined the potential of GPS technology. “They envisioned an application which would use the emerging technology to help school bus fleets transport students with greater safety and efficiency,” according to Synovia Solutions officials. The pair convinced a small private school near Indianapolis to install a single GPS tracker in their only bus. “The successful installation and enthusiastic response of their first client led to the formation of Synovia.” They then started working with other school districts in Indiana, which expanded to the Midwest. “Today, bus fleet managers across the United States rely on our software to track vehicle location, and so much more.”
“This app can be downloaded on a mobile device in the app store and allows a parent and student to know when the bus is approaching the designated stop or entered the neighborhood depending on the selected settings in the app,” according to North Royalton District officials. “Use of the app is meant as an additional tool to assist parents in planning their morning routines and does not excuse “last minute” arrival to the bus stop, as this can create a potentially dangerous situation. Students will still be required to be at their bus stop at least five minutes prior to their assigned pickup time and wait in their driver designated place of safety, as this is a state-wide rule as set forth by the Ohio Administrative Code (OAC 3301-83-13).”
The District had performed an internal test on the system prior to the October roll out to address any issues that may arise before debuting it District-wide. “So far, everything has been doing very well,” said Greg Hovan, North Royalton City School Transportation Supervisor. “The pilot test started in the middle of September. Overall, it’s been a pretty smooth process.” He also noted that the parent are excited for the new technology and have had nothing but positive responses. “I have heard very positive comments about the new bus app and parents are finding it very helpful in knowing when the bus is nearing their stop,” said School Superintendent, Greg Gurka. Any questions can be directed to Hovan at
Contributing Writer