Texas ISDs Struggle with Driver Shortages & Safety Concerns
Texas Independent School Districts (ISDs) have been experiencing constant issues with school bus transportation. Texas’ Houston ISD, the largest in the state, has been unable to operate at capacity due to driver shortages and implementation of new safety features. Dallas ISD, the second largest in Texas, is experiencing similar issues and is seeking alternatives for a better and efficient method.
The shortage of drivers of Texas ISDs is improving through incentives for new drivers, and even employing custodians to train them as substitute drivers. The safety on Texas school buses has progressed too with the introduction of seat belts, installation of WiFi and surveillance systems.
Parents are advocating their schools to seek the ability to be able to see their child when traveling to and from school, which does exist through the use of GPS devices.
In particular, ReaXium offers the School Bus platform which allows parents to see when and where their child gets on and off their routes. This is critical as thousands of students and hundreds of drivers are on the buses daily. This allows school officials to see when students are anticipated to arrive to and from school, and also a bus roster that enables instructors to begin classroom attendance knowing which students are about to arrive.
The focus of ReaXium School Bus is to improve ridership by the use of an onboard device that students interact with, verifying they are getting on or off the bus. The device’s functionality has options of an RFID scanner for student IDs, and a less expensive but more effective option of using their fingerprint on the integrated biometric scanner. There’s a lot of talk about biometrics, so we’ve created a series on demystifying some of the myths on biometrics. Start here.
It is of utmost importance to ensure that Texas ISD’s are providing the proper resources in order to address the issues with driver shortages and student ridership, by creating innovative solutions to tackle it. School districts have been thinking out-of-the-box to fill school bus driver positions with incentives and a strategic labor force. In addition, solutions like ReaXium School Bus, are dedicated to increase student ridership, provide greater visibility of students when traveling to and from school, as well as aiming to increase overall student school attendance.