Chesterfield schools now use Twitter for bus announcements

CHESTERFIELD, Va. – This school year Chesterfield parents will have a new way to keep track of their children’s bus.

Chesterfield County Public Schools plan to use the online social tool Twitter to keep parents informed about bus issues and concerns.

“We have 500 buses, more than 500 bus drivers covering nine million miles, and about 12,000 bus stops,” said spokesperson Sean Smith. “So with that comes some challenges and opportunities and from that we have established a communication  system via Twitter that parents can use to see if busses going to be more than 15 minutes late.”

The system has been in use for a little while.

In fact, that is how Marie Akers found out that her children’s bus stop on Jeff Davis will be relocated this year.

Construction near their neighborhood prompted the school system to move the bus stop from in front of Carneale's mobile home park to nearby one on Old Bermuda Hundred Road.

“I did not know,” she said. “It'll be a little bit of an inconvenience. Hopefully this stuff will be over soon.”

As far as using Twitter for updates, Akers said she welcomes anything that can make her life easier.

“I'm not on Twitter I'm on Facebook,  but I may sign up for Twitter just for that,” she said.

Here are the Twitter handles for Chesterfield's transportation offices:

Follow @busBirdMBK for information from area 1, which oversees transportation in the area around Bird High and Meadowbrook High.

Follow @busMidloMonJR for information from area 2, which oversees transportation in the area around Midlothian High, Monacan High and James River High.

Follow @busCHCosbyMan for information from area 3, which oversees transportation in the area around Clover Hill High, Cosby High and Manchester High.

Follow @busMatDale for information from area 4, which oversees transportation in the area around Matoaca High and Thomas Dale High.

Follow @busSpecialNeeds for information from area 5, which oversees transportation for students who have special needs.

If you are not sure which office runs your child's bus -- click here for information.

"Generally, each tweet will start with the name of the school and the bus route that is running late so that parents will be able to easily see if their children are affected," a school spokesperson said. "At least for now, employees in the area transportation offices will focus on tweeting out information and will not reply to tweets. Office employees will be tweeting, not school bus drivers."