A local mom is turning a scary situation into a positive outcome.
Katherine Johnson went into a panic when her 10-year-old son's school bus from P.S. 51 was an half-hour late. She couldn't get in touch with school or bus company officials, to find out where was son was located. Her son eventually got home safe, but it inspired Katherine to create an app where parents can track their kids along their bus route.
She teamed up with fellow P.S. 51 parent, Jared Alessandroni, a programmer with app-creating experience, to develop "Safer Bus."
The way the free app is currently setup, bus drivers or volunteers check-in students as they board the bus using an iPad, and check them out when they depart.
Each student would carry a card containing a barcode that drivers would scan to track the students. Parents can also access the app to track where the bus is at all times using an iPad's built-in GPS system.
At P.S. 51, where about 300 students take five buses to and from school, that would mean the investment of five iPads, which cost $629 a piece. The buses are run by Amboy Bus Company in the Bronx.
The app is ready to go, but the creators are in the process of negotiating with the school, the Department of Education and the bus company.
Representatives from City Council Speaker Christine Quinn's office, said they will work on pushing the DOE to implement it at P.S. 51, and possibly oher schools, as a pilot project.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun