Jacksonville School Board approves bus tracker

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JACKSONVILLE, Ark. (KTHV) – Checking to see where your child’s school bus stop and pick up time in Jacksonville just got easier thanks to a new online tracking program.

The Jacksonville School Board approved a bus tracking program on Monday, Feb. 5 and it went live on its website Tuesday, Feb. 6.  Nearly 3,000 kids ride one of 42 buses in Jacksonville.

"We have been using it and testing it in our office for the last three months,” transportation director John Sparks said.

The program cannot track exact GPS location yet, but it does show the closest bus stops to your home. It also shows the estimated time of arrival and drop-off at that location for your child.

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Once you log on to the website, you enter your address and the map shows the different bus stops and times for each school.

Sparks said the program is also beneficial when it snows and the district has to utilize its snow routes.

"We can switch out everyday routes to the snow routes and we'll notify parents just like we do if schools are closed, then they can go online and see where the nearest stop is,” he said.

Assistant Superintendent Gregory Hodges says this tracking program is one of the first in central Arkansas.

"Instead of having to call the bus stop and ask what bus does my child ride or what time is the bus is going to be there, they can just go right online,” Hodges said. "That's helpful because say it's a rainy day. Now, I don't have to go outside and sit in the rain for 30 minutes."

Hodges said it is beneficial when a family moves to Jacksonville. You can type in the address of a home, and it will show you what school your child would attend.

"That way parents can know up front what school their children would be zoned for and what time the bus will arrive,” he said. "When we fully implement it, it'll allow parents to eventually tell if their child got on the bus."

Hodges said the district is working on making this fully GPS. They are waiting until the have the funds to do so.