With sub-zero temperatures and winter and spring storms, the Crookston School District is encouraging families with children who ride the bus to school to download their BusQuest app so parents can track the location of their child’s bus and keep them updated on the schedule. to arrive at their bus stop and receive up-to-date information on the child’s whereabouts. The school district covers the cost of the app, so the download is free for parents.

All of the district’s bus drivers use a program known as 3D EZRouting, which is programmed by the district’s Transportation Department to find the most efficient routes for bus drivers to save miles and time to get all students home safely and to their stops. “Each bus has a tablet that the bus drivers can turn on and they can choose a route, morning or afternoon, and if they turn on the sound, it tells the driver, turn-by-turn navigation,” explained Chris Trostad, director of Highland and substitute bus driver. “It also tells you which stop the drivers will arrive at and which students should get on at that stop.”

Parents can access this information by downloading the school’s BusQuest app to see where the bus is when it drops kids off.
“BusQuest is a cool app that shows you where the bus is right now. You can inquire at the bus stop or at the schools. We have instructions on how to add the app to your phone. Only parents can add the app, and only for parents. Then, while it’s set up, parents can set an alarm to let them know when the bus is 15 or 10 minutes from their house. Every parent should use this app because then your child doesn’t have to stand outside for long periods of time, especially when it’s freezing.”
The app helps students and parents when they are waiting for a bus after a major snowstorm that requires the bus to take a different route to the bus stop, which can take longer than usual, so kids can get home from the cold, snow or rain while the bus he doesn’t get anywhere near the stop, instead of waiting unknowingly at the bus stop. It also helps parents as they have to keep their children at the bus stop at least five minutes before the boarding time, which can help them with this. It’s also useful for bus drivers, for example if a bus gets stuck and can’t complete the route, another bus can change its route to reach the stop to pick up the kids and notify parents of the changes.

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The app connects to Skyward to log into the app. Transportation Director Rick Niemela will work with parents to set up the app and it will work on multiple devices in case parents can’t pick up their kids that day and need someone else.
“I would work with the parents if they had a tablet or computer at home that we could use to notify them of this and then they could be at the location where the kids were picked up,” explained Rick Niemela, Crookston’s director of transportation. – So, whoever has access to the given device.

If parents have questions or need help downloading the BusQuest app, they can contact the School District at 218-281-5313 or the Bus Garage at 218-281-5444. The application can also be downloaded from the Apple App Store or Google Play.

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