Superintendent Michael Hinojosa said today that Dallas ISD has not provided an acceptable level of transportation service so far this school year. He said the district leadership team is taking an “all-hands-on-deck” approach to identify and resolve transportation-related issues, and thanked “understandably frustrated” families for their continued patience.
“We have not quite turned the corner, but we are confident we will get there,” Hinojosa said. “We should have identified these transportation issues before school started. I expect more out of our district and I’m disappointed we have not been able to handle these issues. We hope the parents, students, and principals will forgive us.”
In addition to a shortage of bus drivers, Hinojosa said routing issues have caused some students to not receive transportation service as expected. Dallas ISD has implemented interim solutions—a successful job fair has led to future bus drivers being certified and processed, a revamped call center can better answer any questions and concerns, and contracted bus drivers are safely transporting students—while also addressing long-term solutions such as revamped bus routes.
“But these are not overnight solutions,” Hinojosa said. “These things won’t smooth out overnight, but I’m confident we will work most of these issues out in the next few weeks.”
Kayne Smith, who has served as the Dallas ISD transportation chief, announced this week that he has accepted a position to lead transportation services for Cypress Fairbanks ISD. Smith has previously worked with the school district and his family still lives there.
Hinojosa said the district has already heard from several potential qualified candidates to lead the Dallas ISD transportation department. He urged families who are having any transportation-related issues to call the transportation call center, which is 972-925-4BUS.
Dallas ISD is running its own transportation system for the first time this year after Dallas County residents voted in 2017 to dissolve Dallas County Schools, the taxpayer-funded agency that Dallas ISD contracted with to bus students.