Category Archives: Transportation

Transportation Services continuing focus on streamlining operations, reducing late arrivals

HISD Transportation Services kicked off the new year with 41 fewer bus routes — an intentional reduction designed to streamline operations and increase efficiency.

Transportation officials report that operations are running smoothly following the reduction and note they have seen an average of 20 or fewer buses — less than 3 percent of the district’s 860 routes — arriving late to school each morning during the first week of the spring semester. The numbers are tracked manually.

“We’re continuing to look for ways in which we can do better. I believe that we can always improve,” Interim General Manager John Wilcots IV said. “But we’re off to a good start.” Continue reading

Transportation Services operating 41 fewer routes, addressing needs with TransFinder

When the spring semester starts in January, HISD’s Transportation Services will be operating 860 bus routes — 41 routes fewer than they did at the end of September.

The nearly five percent reduction is part of the department’s continued efforts to streamline operations, increase efficiency, and provide better service for students, Transportation Services Interim General Manager John Wilcots said. Continue reading

Transportation updates routes ahead of new school openings, continues to recruit drivers

Transportation Services has updated all bus routes assigned to Kinder High School for Performing and Visual Arts in preparation for their relocation to their new campus in downtown Houston.

The school is moving out of its current campus in Montrose and into a new building located at 790 Austin St. during the upcoming winter break. The new facility, built as part of the 2012 Bond Program, will officially open its doors to students when they return from winter break on Jan. 7, 2019.

The updated routes take effect on Jan. 7, 2019. HSPVA parents and students were notified of the changes via phone and text message earlier this week and will receive reminders again next week. Continue reading

Transportation Services to review afternoon routes

Transportation Services is conducting a comprehensive review of all afternoon bus routes to ensure all stops are scheduled appropriately and all routes can be completed safely in the time allotted.

This analysis comes on the heels of a similar review of all morning bus routes, which is wrapping up. Department staff are expected to complete the review and make any necessary route changes by February 2019.

“I want parents to know we hear them,” Interim General Manager John Wilcots IV said, noting that they focused first on morning routes to ensure students were getting to school on time. “They want us to get these afternoon routes reviewed and updated, and that’s what we’re going to do.”

As part of the review, stop times will be updated to accurately reflect the time needed to execute each route. This will help the department provide parents with accurate pick-up and drop-off times. Continue reading

Transportation Services experiencing reduced late school bus arrivals

The number of buses arriving late to school each morning has been cut dramatically over the past three months as Transportation Services continues to review and refine its operations and provide the best possible service to students.

Currently, the department averages about 30 to 40 late buses every day, which equates to as many as 5 percent of the district’s 878 routes. That’s a significant decrease from the average in August, when almost 20 percent of buses — roughly 140 to 160 each day — were late. The numbers are tracked manually.

“The percentage of late arrivals has been drastically reduced since the start of school,” Interim General Manager John Wilcots IV said Tuesday as he presented a department update to the HISD Board of Education. “I believe that our new technology is going to help us continue to make tremendous improvements. We are learning, and we have a lot of lessons learned.” Continue reading

Transportation’s Coffee & Conversations aims to foster communication with parents   

HISD parents and campus administers gathered with Transportation Services staff on Wednesday to discuss their most pressing transportation concerns during the second round of Coffee & Conversations.

The bimonthly meetings — held this month at Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center and Carnegie Vanguard High School — allow Transportation Services the opportunity to share important updates and progress, identify ongoing challenges and gather feedback.

“We know we have a lot of work to do,” Wilcots said. “But know that we are making changes and working every day to better our systems.”  Continue reading

HISD Transportation Services continues to update routes, reinstate bus stops

Almost 80 bus routes impacting more than 3,750 students across the district have been updated this week and six major bus stops in west, south, and southwest Houston are being reinstated.

The changes are part of Transportation Services continued efforts to review and streamline operations, improve services, increase efficiency, and ensure all students arrive at school each day safely and on time.

“The changes we’re making might seem incremental, but they’re all important,” HISD Transportation Services Interim General Manager John Wilcots IV said. “Each update we make increases our operational efficiency, but more importantly, it helps us provide better service to our students.”

Continue reading

HISD Transportation reinstating four bus stops in southwest Houston

HISD’s Transportation Services has reinstated four major southwest Houston school bus stops serving roughly 600 students and is recruiting more than 90 safety monitors to oversee magnet hubs across the district.

The changes are part of a continued effort by the department to improve its services and ensure students arrive at school safely and on time each day.

“Our goal is to ensure all students arrive at school by 7:15 a.m. and 8:15 a.m. — 15 minutes ahead of the standardized start times,” Transportation Services Interim General Manager John Wilcots IV said. “Our employees see the value in meeting this goal.”

The reinstated stops are located at the intersections of Allday and Sands Point drives, Memorial and Plainwood drives, and Player Street and Tidewater Drive, as well as one stop along Tiger Lilly Way. Students assigned to these stops have already been notified. Continue reading

HISD bus riders to begin scanning bus badges on Monday

HISD bus riders at 22 pilot schools across the district began scanning their badges as they got on and off the bus this week as part of the official launch of Student Badge Program.

The 22 pilot schools were tapped to lead the initiative, giving Transportation Services time to review the initial rollout and refine the program as needed before implementing it districtwide next week.

Bus riders at all remaining HISD schools will begin scanning their badges during the week of Oct. 29.

“No one will be refused transportation if they don’t have a badge. However, it’s important for students to remember to bring and scan their badges every day,” Transportation Services Interim General Manager John Wilcots IV said. “These badges give us — and their parents — access to real-time information about when and where students get off the bus. But no badge equals no data.” Continue reading

Transportation Services begins bus badge distribution

HISD Transportation Services began distributing personalized badges this week to HISD student bus riders as part of the district’s Student Badge Program.

Badge distribution began Thursday, Oct. 18 and Friday, Oct. 19 for a 22-school pilot group with general distribution across the district set to begin on Monday, Oct. 22.

The 22-school pilot group includes: Elmore, Herod, Lockhart, Parker, and River Oaks elementary schools; Woodson PK-5; Fondren, Pershing and West Briar middle schools; Carnegie Vanguard, Chavez, Lamar, Waltrip, Westbury, and Westside high schools; DeBakey High School for Health Professions, Mandarin Immersion Magnet School; Houston Academy for International Studies, Gregory-Lincoln Educational Center, Baylor College of Medicine Academy at Ryan; Mickey Leland College Preparatory Academy for Young Men; and High School for Law and Justice. Continue reading