'Here Comes the Bus' rolls into W-JCC in January

aheymann@vagazette.com

Get ready to hop on board, because “Here Comes the Bus” will make its next stop in Williamsburg and James City County.

W-JCC will release the tracking app, “Here Comes the Bus,” to parents and students on Jan. 1.

John Lambusta, director of transportation for W-JCC, said the only way to see if a bus is late is through the W-JCC transportation’s twitter feed or by calling the district.

With the “Here Comes the Bus” app, parents will be able to see the status of their child’s bus in real time.

Sharon Pullen, assistant transportation coordinator for W-JCC, said the app will track regular and special education buses during regular school days.

Eileen Cox, W-JCC spokeswoman said the app will cost the district $320 a month, or $3,840 annually.

Lambusta said throughout the process of considering and implementing the app division officials have talked to Newport News about their experiences with it.

“(Newport News) has been helpful with tips and things we need to be aware of,” Lambusta said.

Shay Coates, director of transportation for Newport News, said the division has used the app for about three and a half years.

Coates said they have more than 12,000 accounts registered, some accounts with more than one child. More than 2,000 new users signed up since Aug. 31, according to Coates.

Since the app is run by a third-party vendor, Coates said the district has to wait for the company to fix errors with the app rather than being able to do it themselves.

Lambusta said W-JCC was originally going to debut “Here Comes the Bus” on Nov. 1, but there were some technical issues with the app’s hardware and software. These issues were caused by the vendor, Synovia Solutions.

Once the app launches, Lambusta said the district will continue to send updates of bus statuses via Twitter.

“Of course (the app) is technology and technology is not always guaranteed — it's going to go bad sometimes, but we are going to do the best we can to run it,” Lambusta said.

Want to learn more?

To learn more about the “Here Comes the Bus” app visit, herecomesthebus.com. The app will be downloadable through the Apple App store or Google Play store.

Heymann can be reached by phone at 757-298-5828 or on Twitter at @HeymannAmelia.

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