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Some Houston Parents Want School District To Start Over On Bus System

HISD has been trying to recruit more bus drivers to make sure all routes are staffed.

This school year, delays and confusion plagued the launch of a new bus system for Houston students who attend specialty schools outside their neighborhood.

That’s why some parents want the Houston Independent School District to scrap the new “hub” system and create a whole new transit plan. The current system requires students to catch their bus at designated hub locations instead of stops in their neighborhood.

Susan Green told News 88.7 that her son was waiting almost an hour to ride home because the bus driver had to double up on routes. Now his dad picks him up.

“People have just found ways to make it work, you know, if the route is working half the way,” Green said. “Some people aren’t using it at all, because they don’t understand when the bus is coming.”

Green and other parents want more transparency and for district leaders to start over with input from parents, students and community members.

“We keep on pushing pretty hard for things to be improved, but the official line is that there is no problem, that everything is being fixed, and if they know about the problem, they’re going to fix it. So they’re very dependent on complaints of parents — very reactive instead of proactive and systemic,” Green said.

HISD didn’t respond to a request for comment.

But district administrators are still trying to improve the current bus system. They’ve been recruiting more bus drivers to make sure all routes are staffed. Also, in October, they launched a new pilot program at about two dozen schools. Those student bus riders have badges scanned as they get on and off the bus, in order to try and improve efficiency and safety. Students won’t be refused transportation if they don’t have badges.

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Laura Isensee

Laura Isensee

Education Reporter

Laura Isensee covers education for Houston Public Media, including K-12 and higher education. Previously, she was a staff reporter at The Miami Herald and contributed to South Florida’s NPR affiliate. Her work has also appeared in The Dallas Morning News, Reuters and Clarín in Argentina. Laura has won awards for...

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