Funds for an MCPS school bus tracking app set in budget proposal

More stories from Emily Speranza


Photo by Rafael Friedlander

Many students at WJ take the school bus daily which means that the school bus tracking app set in the budget proposal will be used many parents and students. The app is set to be finished within the next 12 years.

With the addition of MCPS’s budget proposal to implement seatbelts on school buses within the next 12 years, funding for MCPS school bus tracking mobile apps will also be included.

Earlier this year, the school board asked the district to consider the development of the software needed for the mobile app. Back in 2018, the MCPS Board of Education unanimously decided that the operating budget for the county for the next 12 years was a final $2.52 billion dollars. The development of the app would require about $750,000 out of the budget.

“[The funds would] provide real-time [GPS] information for parents and guardians to know the location of our buses,” according to the budget recommendation, released by Superintendent Jack Smith.

The app would allow parents and guardians to track the location of their child’s bus during all times of the day. The reason for the implementation of the app is due to the multiple complaints from parents about the school buses being consistently late without the parents being aware of the delay, which may affect the timing schedule in which parents pick up their children.

“As a kid my bus would be delayed like all the time and it was really tough for my mom having to stand around and wait for a long time without any clue on how long I was going to take to get home,” freshman Rachel Vormidick said.

Over 300 school districts across America, including Fairfax and Prince George’s counties use an already made app called “Here Comes The Bus” that serves the same function MCPS hopes to provide through their own app. The app allows parents to see the location of their child’s school bus on a smartphone, tablet or personal computer. Parents know when the bus is near their child’s stop, so they are able to send their child out at the right time.

“I think that an app that allows parents and even older students to track where the bus is, is really great. It can also be really useful for high school students since my bus is really late sometimes and I can never tell how long it will be until it gets there,” junior Valeria Ibanez said.

Within the month, the school board will review the operating budget and hold several hearings and sessions before it is sent to the Montgomery County council for a final consideration for the app.