Transportation Services is in the process of confirming ridership amongst eligible students and deleting unused stops as the department works to improve service amidst a driver shortage impacting school districts across the country.
To ensure all students have transportation to and from school in the meantime, some drivers are running consolidated or back-to-back routes. While this ensures bus service, it can cause extended delays.
Transportation Services has eliminated more than two dozen routes as part of an ongoing comprehensive review of bus ridership at 15 select schools.
The review is focused on schools with low ridership, despite having a high volume of students who are eligible for transportation and have been assigned routes. Reviews have been completed at nine schools, with the remaining six to be finished before the end of the year.
The department has cut 25 routes since the start of the review, bringing the overall number of routes down to 775 — a five percent decrease.
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 has completed more than half of
school bus route scheduling for next year, department leadership announced Tuesday
during the department’s Coffee & Conversations.
Transportation Services General Manager John Wilcots IV
said the department got a head start on planning for the upcoming school year
and now has 60 percent of routing and scheduling for the 2019-2020 school year
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.
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.”
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.”
Houston Independent School District Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan met with all HISD bus drivers and transportation staff on Friday to deliver a simple message of support: “I hear you.”
Lathan called the meeting so she could directly address employees and reinforce the important role they play in the success of students across the district.
“You truly are the first contact every child in this district has each day on his way to school,” Lathan said. “People think it’s just about the principals and teachers, but it’s about our bus drivers, our food service workers, our custodians. You are essential.”
The meeting marked the first time Lathan has met with the entire Transportation Services department. She was joined by HISD Chief Operating Officer Brian Busby and Transportation Services General Manager Timothy Brown. Continue reading →