After Bumpy Start, Dallas ISD's Fledgling Bus Fleet Was More Dependable, Cheaper Than Predecessor, Administrators Say

Even with an admittedly rocky start, Dallas ISD officials are praising its year-old busing service, saying that it was cheaper and eventually more efficient than its predecessor, the now shuttered Dallas County Schools.During Thursday’s board briefing, Dallas ISD deputy superintendent of operations Scott Layne and Stacey Hogue, the district’s transportation executive director, gave a year-end summary of creating a bus fleet from scratch.“I’ll admit the start was a little bit bumpy, and we learned a lot along the way,” Layne said. “We feel like we’re over the hump from where we started, and we expect it to even be better next year.”By May 2019, DISD buses had a 95% on-time arrival rate, Hogue said. That’s a dramatic improvement from the final days of DCS’ service, when -- according to the district’s calculations -- only 65% of its buses arrived on time.The cost-per-rider rate fell from $1,561 under DCS to $1,410 with DISD, resulting in a $5.32 million savings, the administrators said -- even though they later admitted that it wasn’t an “apples-to-apples” comparison, since costs like maintenance and utilities for bus barns weren’t included in the transportation budget.Those figures also didn’t account for the $75 million bond passed by Dallas voters in Nov. 2018, which paid for new school buses and the purchase of a bus barn.While most trustees praised the progress of Hogue and Layne over what trustee Dan Micciche called a “very difficult year,” the board pressed the leaders on doing more to improve service and lower ridership times for the upcoming school year.  Continue reading...

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