By most accounts, the Palm Beach County School District’s massive school bus system operated Monday as a much more well-oiled machine than last year and lived up to it’s motto: “safe-efficient-timely.”
“It went pretty well. It’s 10 a.m. and all our kids are in school,” Transportation Coordinator Tammy Pierre said after dispatching dozens of drivers throughout the western communities and fielding dozens of parent calls starting around 4 a.m.
At the start of last school year, parents complained about buses running hours late and showing up overcrowded — forcing drivers to make multiple trips to some bus stops. To address those concerns this year, district transportation officials put an online pre-registration process in place for parents and “centralized routing” to allow better planning and keep buses on schedule.
The district also sought to improve communication — also a frequent complaint from parents last year — with a ParentLink system that places an automated call to parents when buses encounter unforeseen problems and run late, district Transportation General Manager Carl Boucard said. Last year’s popular call center hot line was also brought back.