Transportation Services will stop making changes and updates to existing routes at the end of this month as the department shifts it focus to planning for the 2019-2020 school year.
Students with new transportation requests submitted after the cut-off date will be assigned to existing routes and stops.
“We began this school year with several challenges. Since that time, we’ve worked hard to address the concerns of parents and make changes as necessary,” Transportation Services General Manager John Wilcots IV said.
“By starting next year’s planning period on April 1, we hope to kick off the coming school year with a much smoother, more efficient start.”
As the department begins to plan for next year, it will continue to focus on reducing the total number of routes, while keeping all stops within a safe and reasonable walking distance for students. Wilcots said his team will also focus on making sure students do not have long waits for buses and that buses arrive at school on time.
This school year, Transportation Services conducted an intensive review of routes — utilizing feedback from district stakeholders and school communities, as well as the data captured from the student badge system — to increase route efficiency. The department also intensified recruitment efforts and assessed technology to ensure it is operating at peak levels.
“Our school communities were clear when they told us what they needed — safe, reliable and efficient bus service for students,” Wilcots. “I want our stakeholders to know that we heard them. We are doing everything we can to meet that need — not only for the rest of this school year, but for next year as well.”
Parents with questions or concerns should contact the Business Operations Customer Care Call Center at 713-556-9400. The center is available 24/7 and has representatives available to answer questions in both English and Spanish.