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New app allows families to track their school bus



SUBMITTED PHOTO - For $3.99 per month per family, SafeStop subscribers can track a bus through its route and view the estimated time of arrival, service updates and some school-related information and other notifications.Rain is a given on most days for at least seven months of the year in Oregon, and every one of those gray months falls within the school year. But a new app launched in the Lake Oswego School District last week can help students — and their parents — stay dry while waiting for the school bus to come trundling up the road.

For $3.99 per month per family, Safestop subscribers can track a bus through its route and view the estimated time of arrival, service updates and some school-related information and other notifications. SafeStop updates every 30 seconds, using information that is made available through GPS units installed in buses operated by the district’s transportation provider, Student Transportation of America.

The app can be downloaded from both the Apple App Store and Google Play.

“The app is very well-received throughout the year, but especially at this time of year, with the winter weather. Kids don’t have to spend too much time out in the cold at the bus stop now, knowing when the bus will be arriving,” said Doug Coupe, director of communications for Student Transportation Inc., which does business as Student Transportation of America (STA) in the U.S. and as Student Transportation of Canada.

SafeStop has previously been available in 12 other states, but STA’s only Oregon site is in Lake Oswego. The company conducted a beta test for the app in 2013 and kicked it off on a limited basis in 2014-15, but this school year it’s enjoying a nationwide rollout.

“SafeStop brings peace of mind to parents,” said Patrick Gallagher, director of sales for South Carolina-based SafeStop.

STA, which operates a fleet of propane-powered buses, replaced First Student this fall after complaints surrounding that transportation contractor’s service in the 2014-15 school year. During a Jan. 12 meeting, the school board lauded STA’s time in Lake Oswego so far.

“You are one of the best things we did this year,” board member Bob Barman said.

For more information, visit www.safestopapp.com or call 1-800-843-8936.


By Jillian Daley
Reporter
503-636-1281, ext. 109
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