DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – There are hundreds of route and tens of thousand of students. Ask any parent and they’ll say when it comes to being a school bus driver there is no room for error. School starts on Monday and to make sure things go as smooth as possible, members of the Dallas Independent School District took time to test their school bus routes, before student’s head back to classes.
What could be a worse nightmare for a parent, than finding out your child was dropped off at a wrong location? It’s happened before and now DISD officials are working to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
The buses don’t belong to the Dallas School District. The drivers are paid by the agency contracted to serve the Dallas ISD. But the riders, an estimated 43,000 children, are the students of the DISD.
Since those passengers are the districts’ most prized possessions, Superintendent Mike Miles decided to board a bus himself today. “This is practice for our first day,” he explained.
To ensure the effective transport of students to and from school, Miles called for a two-day prep session. The dry run was complete with a special operations center, set up to test, evaluate and run the district’s system wide bus service.
Miles rode one of the bus routes to assess travel schedules and timing. “I think when you have an operation of this size, the number of buses, schools, routes, there’s always glitches,” he said. “Last year we had glitches, every year glitches, we’ll have a few this year too. It’s a big system but practices like this help us.”
There are well over 400 bus routes for the Dallas ISD.
In previous years there have been incidents with students being dropped off at incorrect locations, or drivers failing to pick students up at designated stops. The plan this year is to find the problems before students start boarding buses Monday.
“The last thing a parent should worry about is if a kid gets on a bus on time,” said DISD Operations Chief Wanda Paul. “We want to identify the weaknesses to see where we need to improve.”
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