The Board of Education approved a plan at its meeting February 5 to reorganize the WCPSS Transportation Department to help the district more efficiently and effectively serve its 75,000 bus riders.
The changes were based on a detailed report the board received at its January 22 work session. The report included a detailed review of the department conducted by outside firms and staff, and considered recommendations for organizational changes to align the department with current student transportation requirements of the district.
The analysis concluded that although WCPSS enrollment has nearly tripled since 1985, the organizational structure of the department has not shifted to meet changing and growing transportation needs, Chief Business Officer David Neter told the board.
Currently, the transportation department has a $70 million operating budget, about 1,500 employees and 25,000 bus stops. Fifteen transportation districts serve different sections of the county. District operations managers are stretched with duties that include managing up to 65 bus drivers, creating bus routes, performing partial bus inspections, preparing state required reports, and driving buses when drivers are unable to report to work, the report showed. Download the report >>
Based on a staff analysis, the input of outside consultants, and comparison to peer districts, Neter asked the board to consider establishing several new full-time positions that would help centralize some functions, including bus routing. He also noted the need for on-site customer service representatives and business office processing technicians in each district office.
The recommendation was to create a total of 42 new positions, which would require annual investment of $1.65 million in salaries and $600,000 in benefits, Neter said. That amount would represent an increase of 3.3 percent of the total transportation department budget, he said.