For the more than 1,610 Shawnee students who ride school buses, there's a new app giving students and parents a way to check on bus locations in real-time.
With the Versatrans My Stop app, parents and students can know exactly where their school bus is and what time it will show up at their stop — all from a mobile device.
The My Stop app displays the location of a bus on a map as well as the estimated time of arrival to a student's bus stop. The information is automatically updated every 30 seconds.
Parents also can choose to receive push notifications alerting them to changes in their bus schedule, district-wide announcements and other important news.
Shawnee Public Schools has 15-16 buses that are equipped with the new technology for the app.
At the August school board meeting, Shawnee Transportation Director John Wiles spoke to the board about the program, which is geared for the safety of the children being transported.
“All buses will have live GPS,” Wiles said, that will be monitored in real time. “We can see where every bus is located, how fast it’s going and whether they are on route or off route.”
Wiles said the system should give parents a sense of peace fully knowing where their child’s bus is and when it arrived at school.
“They can see an estimated time frame of when the bus will arrive at the bus stop,” he said, adding that parents can get on screen notifications allowing them to know or track where their child’s bus is and if that bus has made it to school.
“It’s all about school safety and where the students are... we’re excited about it,” said Superintendent Dr. April Grace.
Wiles said the accountability of knowing how fast a bus is traveling and where it is also makes bus drivers better drivers.
In addition to cutting down calls from parents wondering where buses are, the live GPS will allow and give notice for any issues with traffic, maintenance and also can help prevent students from being out too long in bad weather or cold.
Additionally, the system will check engine data and send back reports, he said, which will enable them to monitor any engine or maintenance issues.
This is just the first step in the district’s plan to go high-tech with bus routes. In the next year or two, they hope to have a system that will scan each individual student as they get on and off the bus, whether that be a through a student ID card or through an iPad system the bus driver uses.
How to Download the Versatrans My Stop App
Step 1: Download the App from your app store. A search for "My Stop" will reveal the Versatrans My Stop App.
Step 2: Choose your school. Be careful to select Shawnee Public Schools in Oklahoma.
Step 3: Login with your Username and Password. Your Username is the Student ID number provided by your school. The Password is your student's date of birth. DOB must be entered in an 8-digit format without any hyphens or slashes. (For example, if DOB is 1/10/08, the password would be 01102008.)
Step 4: Go to the SETUP menu and turn on notifications if you would like to receive school notifications about bus routes. You may also update your password to one of your choosing and add you email address.
For questions, contact the Transportation Department at (405) 878-1021.