Parents of students riding HISD buses now have two new tools designed to ensure better bus service for students and better customer service for parents with transportation-related questions and concerns.
Beginning this school year, Transportation Services is launching the bus tracking app SafeStop and Let’s Talk!, an easy-to-use, online program that aims to streamline communication between Transportation Services and parents and school staff.
“We want to provide an easy-to-use service that will help parents who utilize our service,” Transportation Services General Manager John Wilcots IV said. “Increased effectiveness in our operations and our customer service continues to be our main goal for Transportation Services this year.”
The SafeStop app provides parents with a map that lets them see exactly where their child’s bus is along its route. It also provides expected arrival times for each stop.
Let’s Talk! provides parents and school staff with a central location where they can submit questions and concerns, track their inquiries, and get quick answers. Let’s Talk! will not replace the Customer Care Call Center but will allow both Transportation and Customer Care to focus on improving customer service and reducing response times.
Both services will be available for use beginning Aug. 19.
Transportation Services will use the data from Let’s Talk! and SafeStop to continue to improve operating efficiency through the monitoring of on-time performance of buses and identification of underused routes, Wilcots said.
Though the department is focused on the new tools, Wilcots wants to remind parents that the student bus badge system implemented last school year will continue to be required for the coming school year.
The student badging program allows parents who sign up for a tracking service to receive real-time notifications via text or email. Students are required to scan their badge — provided to them by their school — when they get on and get off the school bus. Parents will receive notifications detailing when and where their child enters and exits any HISD school bus. Additionally, the student badging program will provide the department with real-time ridership data.
“The student badging program is a critical resource for our department,” Wilcots said. “Together with Let’s Talk! and SafeStop, we expect that the student badging program will continue to provide us with invaluable data to improve our operations.”
Parents can sign up for the student badge notification service – called Z Pass – at ZPassPlus.com.
To learn more about Let’s Talk!, SafeStop, and the student badging program, parents are encouraged to visit www.houstonisd.org/transportation for more information.