ECISD: Transportation Twitter updating parents on bus routes

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ECISD is still short about two dozen bus drivers in the district, which is causing some problems with transportation.

In some cases, the buses are getting to capacity before the route is finished.

“Yes we’ve had a really rough start to the school year with transportation,” said Mike Adkins, ECISD Public information officer.

Ector County covers more than 900 square miles, within that about 8,000 students rely on taking the bus to school and not nearly enough drivers to pick them up.

“We have buses that are full before they complete their pickup routes in the morning and they have to go on make drop offs and come back,” said Adkins.

A shortage of bus drivers is causing a trickle down effect. Drivers have longer routes, kids are late to school or late getting home and parents felt left in the dark.

“How can we get information out really quickly? We were thinking that a twitter account is much quicker,” said Adkins.

Now parents can get tweet updates about routes that are not going to be on time and of any route changes.
 
The director of ECISD Transportation, Roger Cleere, is the man behind the tweets. He often drives buses due to the shortage and sees first hand the overcrowding.

“(Today) Basically I made a stop and had a bus full of kids. Between two stops there was 48 kids in total,” said Cleere, “this bus is designed to carry 71 passengers which is three to a seat with the exception of the one seat in the back corner.”

So far Cleere has sent multiple tweets, mostly about overcrowding and buses having to come back to a bus stop.

“In the mornings we do our best to get there as close to on time as we can, sometimes that equates to us being late to get them to school and in the afternoon its the same thing– if we don’t have enough buses to get there, which we don’t so we have several routes we have to run after we’ve ran one route,” said Cleere,

Now Adkins said this twitter account is not the last stop of communicating with parents, its just the first step the district is taking trying to communicate to parents as fast as possible.
 

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