When Dallas County residents voted to shut down the agency which currently provides bus service to Richardson ISD students with a “no vote” in November, RISD was left with a costly conundrum. In addition to taking on the burden of paying to transport students (Dallas County Schools was funded by a separate ad valorem tax), RISD was left to decide how to manage a program that moves thousands of children daily – handle transportation in-house or hire a third-party vendor.
Beginning with the 2018-19 school year, RISD plans to operate its own bus fleet. The plan will require the district to hire approximately 150 bus drivers, 50 bus monitors and 20 support employees and to acquire buses. Currently DCS operates 146 buses to transport RISD’s 8,500 students to and from school. RISD owns 50 of those buses plus 20 more used for athletics, fine arts, field trips and other programs. The DCS Dissolution Committee will determine if its buses may be given to member districts or if buses must be purchased.
“Local control of student transportation services will allow for the flexibility this district requires in order to serve the needs of our students,” noted district officials in a presentation to RISD trustees.