New initiatives to address bus service challenges expected Tuesday

Bus riders across the district could see changes to their scheduled pick-up and drop-off times as part of an ongoing review designed to ensure all students have access to safe and reliable transportation.

In addition to scheduling changes, the Transportation Services department also is expanding the magnet hub program with the addition of two new hub locations, continuing to assign students to routes, and ramping up bus driver recruitment efforts to prevent driver shortages.

“Transportation to and from school is one of the building blocks for academic success,” HISD Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan said. “It’s imperative that we provide safe, reliable and timely service to our students. We will continue making changes until we can ensure we are meeting that goal.”

The review of bus routes and ridership is being conducted by Transportation Services daily as they work to increase route efficiency and provide the best possible service to students. Additional changes are expected.

Notices for all scheduling changes related to student pick up and drop off times will begin being distributed as early as Saturday, Sept. 1. Updates also will be available online via Infofinder. Scheduling changes are effective for morning pick-ups Tuesday, Sept. 4.

As part of the magnet hub expansion, two new locations — Parker and Kate Bell elementary schools — have been designated as magnet hubs to relieve congestion at surrounding hubs and provide additional convenience for area parents. These new hubs will open on Monday, Sept. 10.

Additionally, Transportation Services is ramping up recruitment efforts to ensure all routes are fully staffed and drivers are available for newly created routes and coverage if employees are absent. Those efforts, which began this summer, will continue next week with a bus driver job fair at the Northwest Terminal on Wednesday.

Parents should continue to contact the Business Operations Customer Care Call Center at 713-556-9400 if they have questions or concerns about their student’s bus assignment, including bus route and hub locations and pick-up and drop-off times. English- and Spanish-speaking representatives are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Parents should have their student’s address and identification number before calling.