SAN ANTONIO — As students head back to the classroom, we’re seeing those familiar yellow buses get back to the roadways.
Nine thousand students in San Antonio ISD will be boarding the school bus each day this year on 145 bus routes across the district. Now, parents can follow along their child’s journey to school before the bus even arrives on a new app called Stopfinder.
“It should really help with the elements and having the ability to know when that bus is about to show up and not having to be stuck at a corner top waiting 20 to 30 minutes just because you don't want to miss your bus,” said Cesar Flores, SAISD transportation director of local routes and field trips.
Flores said parents can track their child’s school bus route in real time.
“They can see what bus number their riding, the expected pickup time and dropoff time from their stop location,” Flores said. “And with the app, you can actually set up a geo-alert, which allows you to see when your bus is nearby.”
The app also allows parents to notify transportation services if their child is running late, or if a student left something behind on the bus.
“It's an extra tool that parents can use to help get their students back into the classroom and feel a little more comfortable about the bus that their riding on,” said Flores.
Flores said the district is continuing certain safety protocols like sanitizing the buses, wearing masks while on board and limiting the number of students on each bus.
And while many drivers return each year, the district is still recruiting more by offering a $1,000 bonus for new drivers who have a Commercial Driver’s License.
“If they come in and they start driving with us for 90 days, then, yes, after that they can come in and get that $1,000 bonus,” said Flores.
Flores said the pay for drivers is $16.75 an hour.
If parents want to download the Stopfinder app and sign up, Flores said to email or call the SAISD Transportation Department. Parents will need their child’s student identification number to register.