Metro Schools Hope Bus System Overhaul Improves Efficiency
by Aundrea Cline-Thomas
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools announced Wednesday they were reorganizing their Transportation Department in hopes of making the school bus system more efficient.
The Metro School bus system has been responsible for 45,000 students and more than 100 employees. Officials hoped an overhaul would improve safety and decrease waiting periods for students.
"We're going to look at everything in the entire department," said Fred Carr, MNPS Chief Operating Officer. "Top to bottom, bottom to top, inside out."
An internal consultant would scrutinize everything to improve safety, customer service, and bus arrival times.
"We are having issues with late buses and not enough drivers," Carr explained, "(It's an) ongoing thing we've tried to tackle.
Few applicants have qualified for the district's driver training class and actually made it out on the road. So when 7 to 10 percent of drivers call out sick every day, it's left to their colleagues to pick up extra routes, often times making students late for school.
Carr acknowledged it's a problem that impacts families because it affects their schedules.
For the past four years, Metro Schools have been conducting department reorganizations. Some have resulted in employees having to look for a new job after their old positions were made redundant.
Carr said that's not the case with the transportation department.
"You're not going to lose your job but when you come into work, you may be doing different things than you're doing today," Carr said he told supervisors.
The goal has been to improve efficiency. Any changes agreed upon would be implemented by December.