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mybusvue-phonesIn today’s connected world — where you can track an Uber to your door — many parents are clueless about when their children will get home from school.

And with a growing list of after school activities, knowing if the kids are running late can help a parent with moment-to-moment planning.

A new app from Seattle-based Zonar Systems uses technology in buses to give parents the ability to track the whereabouts of their kids as they travel to and from school.

MyBusVue shows bus routes, stops and the location of busses, with Zonar senior project manager Tracy Hillstrom noting that the time between home and school is a “dark period for both parents and for school officials.”

“You’re standing on a street corner, you’re waiting for a bus, it’s running late and you have very little information,” said Hillstrom. “Do you wait for one of your children or do you go over to the other stop where the other bus is going to drop off your other child?”

Users can follow multiple bus routes

The app includes an interactive map view, showing bus routes; the current location of the bus; and the stops the bus will make along its route. The app also predicts when a bus will arrive at a child’s usual stop, so parents don’t have to wait at a bus stop.

Zonar is a fleet-tracking hardware maker, and already has devices in one out of every three busses in use today. The company, which is opening a new engineering center in Seattle with room for as many as 100 employees, is testing MyBusVue.

Unlike most of our App of the Week selections, this isn’t something you can just download and start using.

Individual school districts work with Zonar to enable the app, and then school districts inform parents about the service.

Zonar expects a full rollout for participating schools in the 2016–2017 school year.

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