Richland Two unveils school bus tracker ahead of incoming school year

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Published: Jul. 27, 2023 at 10:07 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - The fifth-largest school district in South Carolina is encouraging parents, guardians, and students to download a bus tracker ahead of the 2023-2024 school year.

Richland County School District Two (R2) says they’re piloting a new app that will give users the ability to track school buses in real time.

Made possible by the South Carolina Department of Education, Traversa Ride 360 is now available to be downloaded online and on the Apple App Store.

“Every district will have the opportunity to use this app. I can’t say that they will. But the routing software, every school district in the state will use this,” said Robert White, Director of Transportation for R2.

White tells WIS that Traversa routing software was purchased by the state approximately two years ago. This, to act as a comprehensive student transport program with the help of their Ride 360 app.

White goes on to say that Richland Two was one of the first school districts in South Carolina to implement the Traversa software which was completed in 2022.

After months of field testing this summer, R2 felt it was time to unveil the program and give families the ability to track their school buses.

“Again, this is a pilot for us this year. I do expect some kinks with some new things, but I feel pretty confident that it’s going to help us in the long run,” continued White.

In order to access the GPS-driven data, you have to download the Ride 360 app and sign up as a subscriber at no cost to you or the district.

After registering parents will have to input the student’s legal last name and district ID to access their bus information.

“Each student that is registered to ride a school bus, based off of their student ID number, they will get routed on a bus. That bus has a GPS tracking system which we assign that bus to... It’s almost exactly like an Uber. You can exactly see, “Hey my Uber’s going to be here in 10 minutes.” It’s almost the exact same thing,” said White.

On top of Ride 360, a district spokesperson is encouraging those who haven’t already, to download the Parent Square app.

Parent Square is Richland Two’s unified communication platform which will now include notifications on whether or not a bus is running late.

The district’s 2023-2024 school year begins August 8.

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