It had a year to get it right, yet the city Department of Education still couldn’t manage to get GPS school-bus tracking working when schools reopened this month.
So far, it’s not the nightmare seen last year, with buses and kids gone missing for hours, leaving parents to fear and fume. But that was why the City Council passed two laws requiring a GPS tracker on every bus.
Problem No. 1: Some drivers had their GPS turned off. Even in the second week of school, the DOE Office of Pupil Transportation couldn’t find some buses.
That issue should’ve been handled, at the latest, in the dry runs every driver was supposed to do the week before school began.
Problem No. 2: The DOE’s hotline was jammed. The first day, as The Post reported, it took hours for parents to get through, and problems continued this week. Argh: Experts can help plan how to meet likely call volume.
One parent told the Daily News that the hotline operator claimed that “GPS tracking was only available on buses traveling to public schools.” The DOE tells us that’s not true, so add “training hotline operators properly” to the didn’t-get-done list.
The Taxi & Limousine Commission tracks tens of thousands of cabs, 24/7. The DOE has no excuse for failing at a smaller task.
Department spokesmen insist everything will get better. But that’s the DOE: As long as it can point to plans for improvement down the line, it figures that failure now is OK.
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