Tool allows school bus tracking

Published 10:22 pm Thursday, November 2, 2017

More than 100 Suffolk Public Schools parents have registered for a new tool that allows them to track the location of their child’s school bus.

The program went live this week. It is free to parents.

“That will help parents see exactly what time the bus is coming,” Transportation Director Keba Baldwin said in a “News Bites” segment produced by the school division. “If it’s running a little early, if it’s running a little late, you will get that information through an online portal.”

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The school bus tracker is a module of the transportation department’s GPS technology, which was installed on all buses last school year, according to a press release from school division spokeswoman Bethanne Bradshaw. Activating the feature required no additional equipment, and the annual service cost for the module is $5,000.

The tool allows parents to see a map of the location of the bus in real time and where it is in relation to their child’s stop. While the school system manages more than 160 buses that travel about 15,000 miles per day across the largest city in Virginia, the tracker can help parents figure out whether their child has already missed the morning bus or when they might return home in the afternoon. It could also allow students to wait inside during cold or rainy weather until the bus is close by, according to the press release.

Parents will be able to see the information for their child’s stop only, as they will sign up for the service using their child’s student identification number.

Parents also do not need to download an app to use the tracker, since it is a web-based program and is easily readable on mobile devices, according to the press release.

Bradshaw said parents who are having trouble with the school bus tracker can visit to get help troubleshooting. A help form is also available at