CMS launches 'Here Comes the Bus' app to help track students

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools have released a mobile app called Here Comes the Bus, that will allow CMS families to track bus locations and to receive alerts to help them get to the bus stop on time.

CMS plans to launch the service in two phases.

The first phase began Monday for elementary and K-8 schools and the second phases will begin Wednesday for middle and high schools.

The app uses GPS data to locate buses as they are on their routes and allows parents to see how close the bus is to a stop.

Parents can set up a radius around their home or an alternate stop location to alert them when the bus is approaching.

Matthew Eitel used it for the first time to get his daughter off the bus.

"This is going to be a welcome addition,” Eitel said. "There was a late bus on Friday. Our bus broke down at the school and we were all standing waiting for the bus, waiting for the bus, and then we got a phone call 10 minutes later saying the bus is going to be late."

“Here Comes the Bus is a valuable tool that can help parents and students manage their time. However, students should still always be present at their assigned bus stop according to their existing schedule,” CMS executive director of transportation Janet Thomas said.

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Thomas said there's a two-part security piece needed to access the app to ensure only the right people are using it.

"The district's ID, which is on our website,” Thomas said. “The most important part is that you've got to have your student's ID number."

Here Comes the Bus works only for a student’s morning and afternoon bus service stop; the app does not track after-school, athletics or other CMS-provided transportation.

Here Comes the Bus is available for free to CMS families through the Here Comes the Bus website or Apple and Google Play app stores.

“It worked,” Eitel said. “It's amazing. That's going to be very helpful to get to the bus stop on time and know where the bus is.”

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