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.
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
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 →
A photo gallery and a video featuring emergency rescue training and bus riding safety in the Houston Independent School District Transportation Department were recognized among the nation’s best in 2013, according to School Bus Fleet, the leading magazine for school bus transportation nationwide.
The emergency rescue training took place in August 2013 and featured mock emergency drills to prepare bus drivers and attendants for a variety of crisis situations. The drills simulated the effects of a fire on a school bus, an armed intruder on board and a wreck involving a train. All activities involved real school buses, trains, vehicles, fire, smoke, weapons and staged injuries. The training was conducted in partnership with the Houston Fire Department. The photographs of this event were selected by School Bus Fleet magazine as Editors’ Picks for Photo Gallery of the Year for 2013.
In honor of National School Bus Safety week in October 2013, the HISD Transportation Department created a music video that covered such topics as proper boarding procedures, how to sit on a bus and the importance of reporting bullying. Students from Peck Elementary School, Yates High School and the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts were included in the video, along with district bus drivers and attendants. This video was included among both the most-viewed and most-liked stories by School Bus Fleet magazine readers for 2013. In addition, the video was also selected as Editors’ Picks for Videos of the Year for 2013. The videos were filmed by the district’s multimedia team.
“Both of these programs were incredibly fun and fully engaged our team and community,” said Nathan Graf, general manager for transportation. “Just being recognized for this work is reason for everyone here to be proud.”
Each day, about 925 HISD school buses travel 84,000 miles as they transport more than 32,000 students to and from school.