Dallas County school districts start year with new bus systems

Several North Texas school districts are starting the new school year with a new bus system.

The school districts spent the summer coming up with a new transportation plan and learning to navigate it. They were set into motion on Monday.

It is unchartered territory for all eight of the school districts located within Dallas County. Some have hired an outside company to provide bus services while others, like DISD, took on the monumental task themselves.

There were some kinks. Overall, it appears the first day went better than expected.

Some parents opting to drop of their kids themselves. But for many parents, bus service is the only way their kids can make it to and from school.

Tammy Bautista's son is starting fifth grade at Moss Haven Elementary School in Richardson ISD. She says the bus never showed up to pick up son, who has autism.

“It was stressful for Josiah because you have to structure him of how everything is going to go,” she said. “So he prepared to get on the bus and do his normal routine. When that got thrown off, that threw him off and caused him to have a meltdown. So it was just a hard situation this morning.”

Bautista says her son's paperwork was not in the system. The district says the issue should be resolved.

Richardson ISD is one of eight school districts that were forced to come up with new busing options this school year after fraud and corruption shut down Dallas County Schools, the biggest bus service provider in North Texas.

Dallas ISD hired and trained 1,100 employees to service it's 700+ routes.

“This is the first time we've had our own bus service in 50 or 80 years,” said DISD Superintendent Dr. Michael Hinojosa. “And so now it's our responsibility to make it work.”

There were some hiccups. One DISD parent says her son's bus arrived more than an hour late. She had already taken him to school.

“It is very frustrating because you want the first day of school to be very positive and you want everyone to hold up their end of the deal,” said parent Michelle Landers. “Then I have to go up there and explain why he was tardy. He was tardy because your bus didn't show up on time. So everyone should be accountable for their responsibilities.”

A DISD spokesperson says it will take about a week or so to work out the kinks. She says she knows it’s frustrating but is asking for parents to be patient.

Irving, Carrollton-Farmers Branch, Cedar Hill, DeSoto, Highland Park, and Lancaster ISDs did not report any problems.