City Council passes bill to track school buses with GPS

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NEW YORK -- Next school year, NYC parents will be able to track their child’s school bus like you can do with Uber right now.

The new legislation is part of a package of bills, following a bad year of bussing.

Changes to bus service have been debated for decades, but picked up steam at the beginning of the 2018-2019 school year when many students were either not picked up at all, or dropped off at the wrong location.

Things got even worse when the surprisingly powerful November snow storm trapped children on buses for hours with little or no communication to parents.

”As a parent of five children I know what it’s like to even lose sight of a child for even for a few seconds,” said Councilman Chaim Deutsch, a sponsor of the legislation.

The council is now mandating that next school year buses have real time GPS tracking, and two way radio systems. The Office of Pupil Transportation will also be required to do practice runs on bus routes before the school year starts, and produce reports tracking complaints and quality of service.

“Parents all over the city have been reaching out to say thank you, and that normally does not happen, so this just shows how impactful this legislation is,” Councilman Ben Kallos said.

The GPS startup costs are estimated at about $3.6 Million in the first year, and about $1.8 Million to maintain it each following year.

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