As the industry's leading school bus tracking app and analytics platform, SafeStop is pleased to present our new 4-part Blog Series, What to Know When Considering a Vehicle Tracking App. In this series, we will be sharing our expertise and insight on topics such as how to evaluate your current systems for compatibility with the app your district is considering; realistic timelines for onboarding, implementation, and training; troubleshooting your new app software and integration; how to manage parent expectations, and more.
PART 4: Troubleshooting Bus Tracking App Hiccups
When your school district rolls out a new school bus tracking app, it’s important to realize that mishaps can happen from time to time, and that’s normal. School transportation departments and administrative officials are often quick to find and fix the bug, but parents play a vital role on the front line, often noticing the hiccup first. Know what to spot and what to do next when these rare hiccups occur.
Double Check: If it looks like your school bus tracking app isn’t working, that may be true, so don’t ignore it. Take a look at the various functions in the app to see what’s lagging. If your assigned bus doesn’t seem to be updating times and locations, chances are that something is amiss. The app may be tracking the incorrect bus, especially if your child’s bus was reassigned due to maintenance issues, or the system may need a reboot. When this happens, don’t wait too long or assume it will be corrected in time, especially for morning pickups when your child needs to arrive for school on time.
Check for Announcements: Most school bus tracking apps offer parent portals where the district and school can communicate with parents (and vice versa) in the event of a delay or emergency. After you notice a hiccup, check here for any advisories that you may have missed. This area is also a good place to look during inclement weather, maintenance delays, and other emergencies.
Check Your Device: Sometimes the phone or tablet in your hand could be at fault. Does your school bus app need an update? Has your device had issues launching other apps recently? Sometimes a quick and simple restart can do the trick to fix any issues you may be facing at home. Spotty cell phone service or a slow Wi-Fi connection can also be to blame, so check your internet router at home or cell tower bars on your phone, as well.
Consider the School District's Technology: School bus tracking apps must work with other hardware and software programs at the district level to coordinate bus times. Every now and then, a GPS unit on a particular bus may fail, or the routing software at the school may be down. When a bus must receive maintenance, for instance, the bus assignment may be changed at the school but not on the software. All of these district- or school-level hiccups could affect what you see on your app.
Don't Hesitate to Report: If you have any questions, report the error. Transportation officials and school administrators are always on hand to provide support if hiccups arise during morning or afternoon pick-up and drop-off times. If you spot a problem and report it, you may save dozens of other parents the same stress and confusion. The most important part of school transportation is your child’s safety, and the app is meant to help, not hinder, your ability to transport your student to and from school.