ARLINGTON, Va. — The local school district here has been making changes to its transportation services operations to increase efficiency and better serve students and their parents.
Last fall, Arlington Public Schools hired an outside consultant to conduct a study of its transportation operations to help identify the best ways to streamline and improve it.
One of the first steps was undertaken this summer, and it included implementation of school bus routing software to maximize the capacity of the existing bus fleet. Another step was to establish a transportation call center so that staff is available for families to answer questions and respond quickly to transportation issues.
In addition, students will be assigned to a specific route and bus stop. Officials said this will “address critical safety concerns for students who ride the bus, and allow school leaders to better communicate and serve families when a delay or other changes in service are experienced.”
For the upcoming school year, a temporary bus pass will be issued to students with their bus rider letter, and a permanent pass is scheduled to be implemented by mid-September.
The transportation department’s bus drivers and attendants will undergo a four-day training readiness plan this week to help them become familiar with the changes.
The instruction will include a focus on student safety, customer service and timeliness, as well as bus pass procedures. Students’ route assignments will be distributed, and the drivers will practice their new routes.
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