Back to School: app tracks bus routes in real time in Stevens Point Area School District

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STEVENS POINT, Wis. (WSAW) -- Technology in the Stevens Point School District is changing the way students ride the bus.

The district has been using a smartphone app called My Stop. A fleet of buses have a black box under the dashboard that transmits a signal, letting parents and students who have the app monitor where buses are in real time.

"You can gauge very closely of how close it is to your home, and that way the kids don't have to stand out for an extended period of time, that's kind of handy. Plus, you can make sure it hasn't passed by your house and you haven't actually missed it.," Director of Business Services Thomas Owens explained.

In addition to being a convenient way to know where a bus may be on its route, Owens says it lets the district monitor how a bus may be performing mechanically.

"That's a safety feature too," Owens said. "So if we get a readout that something appears to be approaching a failure, we may be able to catch that before it does fail, in which case then we're not stuck on the side of the road having to switch buses during a route."

The district says more than 1,200 users in the district have downloaded the app.

It's free for both Android and Google devices.