OnTimeBus helps parents and students keep track of regular bus rides to and from school, as well as extracurricular rides that take place throughout the day. With little effort, children can track where the bus is and how soon it will be at their stop. This can decrease morning tension and help ensure the children make it on time to their bus stop with minimal waiting. This means different things to different people.
One mother who is currently subscribed to the system is required to travel a short distance to where the bus greets her children in the morning. She finds the system helpful in keeping her children safe and comfortable with minimal waiting. She knows her kids won’t be left at the bus stop for an undetermined amount of time with the unpredictability of driving in rural areas. Another mother lives in the bus zone at the north end of Morgan City. She finds this tool useful to keep her 7-year-old motivated to keep moving and staying on track. Her daughter knows how to check how long before she needs to leave. “Anyone that can turn on a computer can use it,” Aimee Ferrin said, describing the system.
Parents use the system to see when their child will return home from a field trip. This is especially useful to parents of students participating in late-night events. They know exactly when their student should be home or when they need to pick them up from the school or dirt spot.
Updated every two seconds, OnTimeBus gives an accurate location of the bus. Parents are notified with a text and email of any changes or delays. Only parents who are registered with PowerSchool are able to use the system, which keeps students’ whereabouts private. Parents can easily log into their PowerSchool account from the district website, as well as any of the four school websites. From there, it is one click into the OnTimeBus system.
The OnTimeBus system was donated 100 percent to the school district. “The school will never incur an expense from this system,” Kim Turner, Power Ride employee said of the donation. Ride Systems maintains the GPS system and has already replaced several units. The company wanted to give back to the community and was happy to provide ‘a really good service to everyone that wants to use it.’
OnTimeBus costs $6 a month for unlimited access to all of the information. Parents can sign up for one month at a time, which works particularly well for students involved in a sport. They can sign up for that particular season only. There is a seven-day free trial to allow parents a glimpse of how the system can help.
School District Benefits
OnTimeBus allows Morgan School District Bus supervisor Mike Shope to manage the entire fleet of school buses from his laptop. From morning school pick up to late night sports drop off, Shope can quickly view where each of the buses are. When a concerned parent calls he can quickly give them accurate information of when a bus will arrive. He finds this system instrumental “to better serve the public and give piece of mind.” Giving a quick demonstration as he touted the many benefits of OnTimeBus, Shope showed on his computer a satellite view of the area. While he continued to talk he pointed to a bus driving through Weber Canyon bringing students back from DATC. As he explained the benefits, he announced that the Peterson Exit was closed for construction at that moment so he could see the bus traveling on Old Highway Road.
When a bus broke down in Croydon out of cell phone service range, and again in Salt Lake, Shope was able to use OnTime Bus to remedy the situation quickly.
Morgan native Justin Reese was working his way through his undergraduate degree at Utah State University in 2003. When he wasn’t navigating his way to class, he was driving passengers around campus. Those days spent driving the bus inspired a line of services that would create a successful company. Rees founded Ride Systems and his products are now spread from coast to coast with systems similar to OnTimeBus across the United States. Once the wheels were set in motion, Ride Systems has continued to build a customer base of over 50 clients.