OPT & Busing News

September and new bus routes can mean stress for many parents. Last week, the Office of Pupil Transportation (OPT) released the ten-month bus routing information that applies to most students. To locate your child's bus route and schedule, call OPT at 718-392-8855 with your student's NYC OSIS number (the 9 digit ID number assigned to your child by the DOE) and their date of birth. If your family experiences any issues with your child's busing or OPT, please document all information and let us know right away.   You may have also heard or seen in the news that that GPS tracking support will begin to be installed and available in school buses starting this September. While it is, of course, welcome news that OPT will now be able to track some of its buses in real time, there is a great deal of uncertainty as to whether all buses will be outfitted in time for the new school year, and when parents will be able to track their children’s buses. This is despite the fact that back in January, legislation introduced by Upper East Side Councilman Ben Kallos was passed that mandated that New York City equip all its nearly 10,000 buses with GPS tracking in time for the start of the 2019-2020 school year precisely so that parents would have access to an app that would allow them to track their children’s whereabouts. Kallos had introduced the legislation back in 2014 following a freak snowstorm that had children sitting on their school buses for hours as understandably frantic parents attempted to locate their children.    The new partnership between the DOE and its contractor, Via, has just started. However, the DOE has not provided a solid timeline for the app’s release and availability. Until the app is released and made available to the public, families will continue to need to call OPT for their child’s bus location information.  Our client Beth Pilchik spoke to WPIX11 last week about her family’s personal busing experiences and how important this app is for all families who use and rely upon DOE busing, as well as the DOE drivers and matrons themselves.

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