This story was originally published on Aug. 8 by THE CITY.
The Department of Education is running late on a legal mandate to equip every yellow bus with a GPS device by the first day of school, THE CITY has learned.
The City Council in January passed legislation requiring a GPS in all 9,500 yellow buses by the time the 2019-2020 school year starts, on Sept. 5.
The sponsor of the legislation, Councilmember Ben Kallos (D-Upper East Side), noted the DOE hasn’t awarded a contract yet to provide the devices on buses that serve 150,000 students.
“It’s really not that hard… Putting GPS on things and showing it on an app is like the most basic technology for any app on this planet at this point,” said Kallos. “With a month left before school starts, they’re cutting it dangerously close and I don’t believe they’ll get it done in time.”
DOE officials said they’re finalizing a contract with one of the nine vendors that submitted bids in March, but don’t have a timeline for completing the project.
“Our priority for GPS is installing the right system on all our buses as quickly as possible,” said Miranda Barbot, a DOE spokesperson.