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.
Transportation Services is tapping existing bus drivers to serve as department ambassadors tasked with recruiting fellow bus drivers and encouraging them to join their ranks.
The 20-member internal recruiting team will be established by mid-February, Transportation Services General Manager John Wilcots IV said. The hand-picked team will work on recruitment each day after they complete their routes.
Recruitment duties will include attending job fairs and other recruitment events and posting recruitment fliers in areas with high traffic, such as libraries, beauty shops, and restaurants.
“They’re the best people to go out there and tell others about their jobs and really sell Transportation Services,” Wilcots said. 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 →
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 →
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 →