The sun strained through high, wispy clouds, beaming bright yellow warmth onto the windows of school buses that streamed into the bus terminal, returning from safely transporting students.
At all district locations, HISD Transportation Services is observing National School Bus Safety Week to raise awareness among students, staff, and the community about the importance of school bus safety – inside and outside the school bus.
With more than 7,000 employees,
Business Operations is the largest division in HISD. But what exactly do we do?
Before students can ever file
into their classrooms, bus drivers and crossing guards must get them safely to
school. Cafeteria workers must make them a nutritious breakfast. Custodians,
police officers, and construction crews must make sure they have new, clean,
safe spaces in which to learn.
The breadth of our work touches
all facets of the district, and support is at the heart of everything we do. We
help lay the foundation for student success — most of the time behind the
Transportation Services is working to address its driver
shortage by offering free training for individuals who wish to obtain a
Commercial Driver’s License.
The class for the license, also known as a CDL, is held Monday through Thursday from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Northwest Terminal (6351 Pinemont Drive) and is open to anyone interested in becoming an HISD bus driver until the start of the 2019-2020 school year.
Roughly 90 percent of HISD bus drivers are now completing their required twice-daily bus inspections electronically with Zonar, a fleet management and tracking system implemented by Transportation Services earlier this school year.
The success rate was determined as a result of one-on-one inspections conducted this week by the transportation leadership team at all four bus terminals. The spot checks were completed on-site each morning prior to the start of morning bus routes. Additional random checks will continue.
“We now have the ability to electronically collect fleet data, which is automatically accessible to our fleet maintenance department,” Transportation Services Interim General Manager John Wilcots IV said. “It’s made our manual inspection process obsolete.” Continue reading →
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 →
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.”
When school starts on Monday, five HISD school buses will look just a little a bit different on the inside, after being adapted to fit the district’s youngest students.
HISD’s Transportation Services modified the buses to make them safer to transport pre-kindergarten students to Woodson PK-5 Leadership Academy. The school’s full-day pre-kindergarten program expanded this school year, and nearly 250 pre-K students from the Sunnyside community are enrolled in the program. Continue reading →
Last August, torrential rains flooded roads, streets, and highways, temporarily transforming them into lakes and rivers as the greater Houston area endured one of the worst disasters in local history.
As many people sought shelter from Hurricane Harvey, HISD Transportation Services team did the opposite — taking school buses out into the storm to rescue evacuating residents.
“This storm impacted our entire community — our students, our staff, our friends, our neighbors,” Transportation Services General Manager Tim Brown said. “It was important to me that we stepped in to help in any way that we could.”
Before Houston Independent School District students can grab school breakfast to fuel their learning or pull out books and laptops to begin class, one crucial thing must happen to start the day.
They must arrive at school safely. That’s where Norma Garcia comes in.
A veteran bus driver with more than 30 years of experience, Garcia first started in HISD 23 years ago. She currently drives routes that service High School for the Performing and Visual Arts and DeBakey High School for Health Professions. Continue reading →