New school bus app causes confusion for Seminole County parents on first day of classes

Nearly 62,000 students are back in the classroom across Seminole County but getting there wasn’t easy for everyone. The new Ride 360 app caused quite a few headaches and frustration, parents tell FOX 35 News.

"We think there’s a bus running, but we’re not entirely sure," said Stacy Edwards.

Edwards’ youngest daughter is starting her first day of high school. Normally, the bus would pick her up at the corner of their yard but today they weren’t sure where the pickup would be if at all.

"A couple days ago we are able to log onto the app and see the bus route and then yesterday it just disappeared," said Edwards.

Parents across the county have reported numerous issues with the Ride 360 app. The app is supposed to show parents bus routes, pickup times, and more but instead caused nothing but confusion.

"I can see why the county would want to automate it but I’m not sure how great of an option it is at this point," said Edwards.

Edwards like over 5000 other parents called Seminole County Bus Transportation to figure out what was going on, but her call never made it through. Seminole County Public Schools say their system couldn’t handle the call volume and dropped many calls.

"The buses are still coming and we’re going to address the app situation and we’re going to make sure that all of our parents have the information they need," said Superintendent of Schools Serita Beamon.

Seminole County Bus Transportation say their transportation hotline, 407-320- 7588, was ringing off the hooks until 1 a.m. They say if you can’t get through on that number try their dispatch line at 407-320-7547. You can also message them directly on Facebook at Seminole County Public Schools Transportation Services.  They have added staffing to handle those requests.

"We’ve tried to help as many families we could to ensure they had transportation," said Bus Transportation Director Stan McKinzie. "I’m told by tomorrow a lot of those issues will be worked out."

The county says they have more bus drivers at the start of this year compared to last year so they are seeing far less delays. They say the real issue has been building this app from the ground up.