The Bus Status service informs families and students about bus delays of 10 minutes or more. Bus Status does not offer real-time GPS bus route monitoring.

The most effective way to use the mobile app is to Favorite your student’s bus(es); the status updates for your Favorites will be pushed out to your mobile phone.

This FAQ addresses key issues that have been brought to our attention about both the web version and the mobile app.

Why does the updated time at the top of the page keep showing 6 am (or 11 am)?

The “updated time” shows when all the data was cleared out/started up fresh that day by the service provider (a company serving multiple school districts in North America).

The only time reference that has any actual bearing on the arrival of buses in our district is this one:  When a bus is delayed, our transportation staff adds a note to the orange (delayed) status bar that includes the specific time the report of the delay was received.

  • For example, if a bus is running within approximately 10 minutes of its expected arrival time, the green bar will show “on time.”
  • If a bus is running 10 minutes or more behind schedule, the orange bar will show the delay and the notes will show the time the report was received.

In both cases (on time and delayed), the updated time at the top of the page will show 6 am or 11 am because that’s when the service provider cleared out the entire system nationwide (the system is cleared out three times a day).

Because the “updated time” at the top of the page is confusing to users and has no bearing on a local district’s work to update specific buses throughout the morning or afternoon, we have asked the developer to remove it.

Why am I asked to refresh the page regularly?

Refreshing the page helps you see if any new delays have been posted; refreshing the page will not affect the “updated time” at the top of the page.

Why isn’t the bus delay status accurate to the exact minute?

The delay times are approximate. A variety of factors can result in a bus running late on one part of the route and catching up on another part of the route. On a snowy day when driving is difficult, even the best estimate can be off by a few minutes.  

Is the service tied to GPS?

No. This service relies on people, not GPS. Here’s how it works:

  • the bus driver lets First Student dispatch know if she/he is running late;
  • dispatch alerts our transportation department; and
  • transportation staff post the update.

Weren’t the Facebook updates more accurate?

The Facebook status posts were as accurate as Bus Status because they relied on the same process for posting updates. Family/student access to information, however, was significantly less. We speculate that Facebook’s algorithms were affecting how many people saw our late bus posts on Facebook because in many cases, the “reach” of late bus posts was 10 people or less. Our goal was to find something that families/students could access more easily and directly.

If the high school routes are delayed, does that mean the elementary routes will be delayed, too?

Not necessarily. First Student responds as quickly as possible to bus delays, sometimes sending additional buses to pick up remaining students on the route and to recover from delays. It’s impossible to predict if an elementary bus will be late while the high school or junior high routes are still running (and the elementary routes haven’t even started). Please watch Bus Status for updates to your elementary child’s bus status as it gets closer to the expected arrival time.

The mobile app keeps hanging up/freezing.

As with most mobile apps, developers push out updates on a regular basis to deal with issues. The mobile app for Bus Status has been updated to resolve the issue with the app hanging up.

If you have additional feedback or questions to share about Bus Status, please email or call 763.391.7244.