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.
Transportation Services is strengthening its focus on student and driver safety with the implementation of a new practice to address student conduct concerns on the bus.
The practice, which is being implemented this fall, addresses the procedures that bus drivers and Transportation Services leadership must follow when student conduct issues arise.
The new policy requires drivers to complete a Student Conduct Form and submit it to their terminal manager when a student incident — such as eating and drinking, fighting, or defacing the bus — occurs.
Transportation Services is updating the SafeStopbus tracking app to reflect temporary changes made to bus routes that do not yet have a permanent driver assigned due to an ongoing driver shortage.
Of the department’s 828 routes, about 10 percent — or 87 routes — do not have permanent drivers due to the shortage, which is impacting transportation organizations across the region.
As a result, stops on these open routes were temporarily reassigned to nearby staffed routes to ensure all students have safe and reliable transportation to and from school. This has caused some staffed routes to run longer than originally expected.
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 →