HOUSTON — The Houston Independent School District (ISD) has tapped routing software developer Transfinder to help it roll out changes during the 2018-19 school year to contend with a bus driver shortage.
With more than 200,000 students spread out over 301 square miles, Houston ISD is the seventh largest district in the country, according to Transfinder. When Houston ISD hired Transfinder, the district was short 150 school bus drivers, had experienced a change in leadership in the transportation department, and had similar start times that limited buses to single trips at most of its 280-plus schools.
Transfinder’s routing solutions and service team provided the district with a number of options to consider to remedy these and other issues. The routing software developer will help Houston ISD implement these key initiatives, beginning Aug. 27:
• Creating hub locations at magnet schools to drop off or pick up students.
• Ensuring students riding the district’s buses take only their assigned routes.
• Standardizing bell times to create a two-tiered service pattern.
By implementing these changes, Houston ISD anticipates savings in the long term as a result of utilizing its buses more efficiently, and either retiring buses or forgoing the purchase of additional buses as a result.
“This has been a monumental project that the Houston Independent School District has undertaken,” said Antonio Civitella, Transfinder’s president and CEO. “We have worked very closely with the district to provide them with all the necessary data to make the most informed decisions. We then came alongside the district to provide them with the tools and support to put their plans in place. The district has been informing the community that major changes are coming that will ultimately make the transportation of their students more efficient and safer.”
Transfinder has more than 150 school districts in Texas as clients, including Cypress-Fairbanks ISD, Fort Bend ISD, Fort Worth ISD, and North East ISD.
The routing software developer opened its first satellite office in Austin in 2015. A year later, Transfinder received the Austin Chamber of Commerce’s Customer Service Award.