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BC Freshmen Create App to Track Safety on School Buses

BusWays is a startup app created by Boston College students and roommates Pedro De Almeida Rosa Guimaraes and Fernando Simoes Guimaraes Pinto Nazario. It is designed as “a way for parents and schools to track school buses and to verify [that] individual children safely get on and off the bus.” The goal of the project is to ease the doubt and anxiety that plagues many parents who send their young children off to school on the bus each day.

The co-founders were inspired by their experiences growing up in Latin America, where they both witnessed safety hazards in the local traffic and transportation systems. In effect, they sought to abate the worries of the many others, specifically parents, who witness the same potential dangers.

In a recent press releaseGuimaraes said, “My mom would call me all the time asking if my brothers were on the bus with me and where the bus was. I came up with the idea. How can we fix this issue?” In a similar vein, Nazario referred to buses as a “necessary evil.” Inspired by their own experiences, the duo began to work to find a solution to this pressing problem.

The app operates by providing each child with a “printable QR code” that parents can individually attach. These codes are scanned when a child either boards or exits the bus, and parents immediately receive a notification upon their doing so. The startup eventually hopes to cater to schools, allowing administrative staffs to monitor student safety and thus properly assess the reliability of bus services. The business strives to universally improve the education transportation system by encouraging schools to become a “BusWays Approved School.”

The process of creating this app was not an easy one, as the college freshmen joined forces with experienced programmers to bring their concept to fruition. The app is currently available for download on the Google Play Store.

The co-founders intend to run their app in a test phase in Panama before global expansion. Ideally, they would like to make the app available free of charge to both parents and children while charging schools for the service.

BusWays received recognition from BC’s Elevator Pitch Competition, a venture competition administered through BC’S Carroll School of Management. Here, student entrepreneurs are given the chance to present a 60-second sales pitch for their business in front of a panel of well-versed entrepreneurs and Venture Capitalists. Promising ideas are awarded cash prizes. BusWays was awarded the Social Impact prize for its innovative approach to the issue of school bus safety.

More information on BusWays, how to download the app, or how to get involved can be found by visiting the app's website: http://www.busways.net/.

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