Forest Hills Public Schools rolls out bus tracker app

Forest Hills Public Schools
An Aug. 29, 2017 photo of a Forest Hills Public Schools bus.


ADA TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — A new app is giving Forest Hills parents a little more peace of mind as they send their kids back to school this year.

“I was nervous. I was nervous for myself, I was nervous for him… it was his first time ever getting on a school bus,” said Tracy Davies said of her kindergartner Keegan. “It’s his first time ever being on a bus and getting off the bus, figuring out where he’s supposed to go.”

Thanks to GPS technology, Davies and other parents can track their child’s bus in real time from their smartphone. The app is called Versatrans My Stop.

“They’re able to see their child’s bus information on the app and see where the bus is on the route. So they can be prepared to meet the bus on schedule,” said Darryl Hofstra, transportation director Forest Hills Public Schools.

Hofstra says it’s information parents had been asking for.

“(They’re) wanting to be just more connected, know when the bus is running late, or maybe if it’s running early, just to have that information handy,” he explained.

“I have a little one at home that naps, so it’s nice to be able to time it right to send my two (other children) off to school and have my little one still sleep in in the morning. And with afternoon naps, it’s nice to be able to time it right, to make sure I’m at the bus stop on time,” explained Davies.

Hofstra says by arming parents with bus information, the district expects calls and questions directed to the transportation department to drop.

Forest Hills Public Schools
People walk by the bus garage for Forest Hills Public Schools. (Aug. 29, 2017)

“(The app is) able to let them know the bus is running late, which is a big thing that parents have asked for… and it will update the information for them automatically,” said Hofstra.

Parents worried about privacy can also rest easy; Versatrans My Stop comes with an exclusive login code that ensures they’re the only ones accessing information about their child’s bus route.

Forest Hills Public Schools is still looking for bus drivers. Those interested can apply on the district’s website.