Beginning next school year, GPS tracking systems in city school buses will be the norm.
Already 4,000 of the city’s 10,000 yellow school buses have the GPS technology and the City Council estimates it will cost about $3.7 million to put the systems into the remaining buses.
The new legislation was signed Thursday with a package of other bills following a terrible year of bussing in the five boroughs.
After things got even worse when a surprisingly intense snowstorm crippled the Tri-State area in November, leaving thousands of children stuck on buses for hours, the Council decided to act.
“Parents should be able to track buses just like an Uber or an MTA bus, see when it’s coming, come downstairs with their kids, see it get their kids to school safely and know when it’s coming to drop off their child at home,” said Councilman Ben Kallos, who sits on the City Council’s Education Committee.
Now, parents will be able to locate their children’s school buses in real-time.
The legislation also requires bus drivers to make sure they know their routes before the school year begins and do several practice runs beforehand.
“There's no reason a child should be stuck on the bus for hours trying to get home from school during the first week of school every single year,” Kallos said.
The Department of Education also ired the official who ran the city school busses in 2018 after students weren't picked up on the first day of school.