You are reading

Council Members Call Out DOE for Delayed School Bus Tracking Program

(Wikimedia Commons/ Chris Sampson)

Nov. 19, 2019 By Allie Griffin

Local lawmakers are demanding an explanation from the Department of Education (DOE) on its failure to equip city school buses with GPS tracking by the beginning of the school year, as required by a recently adopted law.

Council Members Robert Holden and Ben Kallos penned a letter to Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza last week asking for an explanation as to why the tracking system was not in place by the first day of the 2019-2020 school year.

The Nov. 14 letter was co-signed by nearly two dozen additional council members supporting Holden and Kallos’ letter.

The local law requires every school bus in New York City to be equipped with GPS tracking technology. It stipulates that GPS data, including real time locations and velocity of buses, must be made available to authorized parents and guardians whose students take the yellow buses.

The council members state that when the law was passed on Feb. 2, 2019, the DOE had seven months before the beginning of the next school year to plan accordingly.

The law went into effect on the first day of this school year. According to the letter, a DOE official told Holden the technology would be fully operational by the start of the 2020-2021 school year.

“That would put the DOE one full year behind schedule, and in effect it is breaking the law,” the letter states.

Parents have access to individualized schedules, real-time locations, pick-up and drop-off times for each student via their New York City Schools Account which parents can create online, according to the DOE.

The department is also insourcing and fully staffing its Office of Pupil Transportation call center, which parents can call in order to receive individual route information for their child’s bus.

A spokesperson for the department said that the GPS technology was installed on every bus by the first day of school. However, the DOE is working with ride-sharing app Via to create an app for parents to track their child’s school bus and the app is still in development.

“Every day we bus 150,000 students to school and this year we successfully installed GPS on every bus by the first day of school,” DOE spokesperson Miranda Barbot said. “As soon as the bill was enacted we began the procurement process, and are working to provide parents with access to busing information in an efficient and effective way by the start of next school year.”

Holden Letter by Queens Post on Scribd

email the author: news@queenspost.com

2 Comments

Click for Comments 
Joe Z

Councilman Holden can always be counted on to speak out on vital issues, proffering sensible and sound solutions.

Reply

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Three muggers sought for punching and robbing an M train rider in Glendale: NYPD

Police from the 104th Precinct in Ridgewood are looking for three muggers who assaulted an M train rider at a Glendale subway station in the early morning hours of Sunday, June 16.

The 42-year-old man was standing on the platform inside the Seneca Avenue subway station just before 3 a.m. when the three strangers approached him and allegedly punched him multiple times in his face while forcibly removing his cell phone before running out of the station onto Palmetto Street, police said. The victim refused medical attention at the scene.

Cyclist sought for endangering the welfare of a child in Richmond Hill: NYPD

Police from the 102nd Precinct in Richmond Hill are looking for a cyclist who rode up alongside a 9-year-old girl and tried to engage her in conversation at around 8 a.m. on Thursday, June 13.

The encounter occurred in the vicinity of Jamaica Avenue and 104th Street while the youngster was walking to school. When the man asked the girl to join him on his bike, the girl sensed danger and took off, running to her school where she alerted authorities of the incident.

Man sought for stealing a scooter near a Middle Village fast food restaurant after slugging its rider: NYPD

Police from the 104th Precinct in Ridgewood are looking for a suspect who punched out a 47-year-old man, threatened to shoot him and stole his scooter in Middle Village more than a week ago.

The incident occurred near the Wendy’s restaurant at 61-11 Fresh Pond Rd. at 1:30 a.m. on Tuesday, June 11, when the stranger approached the victim and took his two-wheeled scooter. When the man tried to take his bike back, the assailant punched him and acted like he had a firearm, then fled on the scooter westbound on Eliot Avenue toward Metropolitan Avenue. The victim sustained minor injuries and refused medical attention at the crime scene.