Dallas ISD Hiring More Bus Drivers Following 'Hiccups' During First Week of School - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
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Dallas ISD Hiring More Bus Drivers Following 'Hiccups' During First Week of School

The district says it was about 100 bus drivers short on the first day of school

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    DISD Hiring More Bus Drivers After 'Hiccups' in First Week

    Dallas ISD admitted there were some "hiccups" in their transportation system this week, as they rolled out their new school bus service for the first time. One of the major issues they faced was a shortage of about 100 drivers on the first day of school. District leaders said they're working hard to fix the problem, and hosted a special job fair Saturday to get those positions filled. (Published Saturday, Aug. 25, 2018)

    Dallas mom Lisa King knows full well the first week of school can be a bit hectic.

    But she said things were more hectic than usual Tuesday morning when she took her daughter and the neighbor's kids to their bus stop. 

    "I got to the bus stop at 6:38 a.m. -- and no bus," King said. "I didn’t even see a bus at all. I left here about 30 minutes later. And I never saw a bus."

    She wasn't the only parent who ran into problems with Dallas ISD's new bus service.

    Dallas ISD Responds to Bus Overcrowding, Delays

    [DFW] Dallas ISD Responds to Bus Overcrowding, Delays

    Dallas ISD responded to concerns Wednesday over bus problems during the first week back to school under its new program.

    (Published Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2018)

    Complaints of late buses, overcrowded buses and buses that simply didn't show up were common last week.

    District leaders acknowledged those issues, and said they're working hard to address them.

    "We wanted to be perfect day one, but we knew it wasn't going to be," said Kayne Smith, executive director of student transportation services for Dallas ISD. "We knew we were going to have hiccups. We saw those. Now we've got a week under our belt -- we know where we can grow, we know where we can improve. And it's our promise to the students of Dallas ISD and the parents of Dallas ISD that we're doing everything we can to make it right."

    Smith said that will start with hiring more bus drivers.

    Heading into the first day of school, about 100 drivers that the district expected to show up for work never did. The district said there were some mix-ups with retirements, drivers who decided to take other jobs and some who they simply couldn't reach. 

    It's why Saturday, they held a job fair specifically for bus drivers -- ready to make job offers on the spot.

    Late Buses, Long Hold Times Mar Start of DISD's Bus Service

    [DFW] Late Buses, Long Hold Times Mar Dallas ISD's First Day of Bus Service

    There were some bumps in the road for Dallas ISD's new bus service on the first day of school.

    (Published Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2018)

    "This [job fair] will definitely help by getting good people on board these buses and driving these buses every day for us," Smith said.

    The drivers they hire will have to complete all of their required training before they'll be able to hit the streets. While that means they won't be available immediately, Smith said the district will be running training sessions in the evenings and weekends to help expedite the process.

    In the short term, they're re-working bus routes and looking for ways to improve communication with parents to help alleviate some of the issues they ran into during their first week.

    He also noted that they did see some improvement in pickup and drop-off times by Friday.

    "The bottom line is that this is a department that didn't exist six months ago," Smith said. "And while we knew there were going to be hiccups along the road, we ended up picking up 40,000 kids and bringing them to school and bringing them home safely this week.

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