By Jackson Osteen
As all bus riders know from experience, the first month of transportation this year was anything but smooth. Each day, there were anywhere from seven to seventeen students who were late to school at Pin Oak because their bus was not on time.
One thing is for sure, calculating transportation routes is no painless task. Imagine having to account for every plausible delay for getting 200,000 students to school on time. Obviously, there is no way to account for unexpected traffic, loss of bus drivers, or road construction. The beginning of the year works as a sort of “guinea pig” for the HISD Transportation Services. The first two months of school is the time where the majority of route conflicts are fixed to approximate the perfect time of arrival.
Another new struggle arose for the buses this year. There were a large amount of drivers who quit because of the recent budget cuts, causing many drivers to take on double shifts for the same paycheck.
The late buses definitely had an effect on student’s education. As you can imagine, being late everyday for a week can rack up a lot of missing work. “If kids are late, and he or she misses instructional time, you can’t replace that time.” said Mr. Berry, who in charge of transportation for Pin Oak Middle School.
Amidst all the challenges to perfecting the system, the HISD Transportation System managed to essentially fix the problem. Buses have been arriving on time almost every day for about three weeks now. It is safe to say our buses and the kids riding them are in good hands. Tisha Foster, the senior chief of transportation for HISD said, “We work aggressively on every complaint to ensure it is resolved that day to ensure that the students’ learning experience is not impacted.”