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Smartphone app allows Madison parents to track child’s school bus


MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) – The Madison Metropolitan School District launched a smartphone app to allow parents to see if their child’s school bus is on-time or running late.

The mobile device app is called FirstView Transportation and it’s operated by the bus service company First Student, which started contracting with MMSD in 2023.

MMSD External Communications Officer Ian Folger said this past fall did not go well for the district and parents due to a number of late pick-ups and delays. He said a bus driver shortage was the main reason for the problems.

“We understand that the start of the year was a little bit rocky for a lot of folks,” Folger said. “Whatever we can do to really provide that insight into students’ buses and their schedules, we want to be able to do. We want to be able to make it as easy as possible for families to get their children to and from our school.”

Madison parents can track school bus through smartphone app
Madison parents can track school bus through smartphone app(Marcus Aarsvold)

He said the goal is to keep parents informed so students do not have to wait outside for long periods of time.

“Instead of just sending your student out the door hoping that the bus will be on time, you’ll know when the bus is getting close and then you can get them to their bus stop,” Folger said. “This is going to remove a lot of mystery for folks. I think that people will be less apt to be caught off guard if there are delays.”

The app does not track the students themselves.

Madison parents can track school bus through smartphone app
Madison parents can track school bus through smartphone app(Marcus Aarsvold)

MMSD’s website shows that parents need to use their student’s private identification login to access the app and track the school bus.

Folger said FirstView uses GPS technology to track when the bus is close to a family’s home and then sends them a push notification.

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