OPS Board receives scathing bus audit

Posted at 11:19 AM, Jan 09, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-09 23:57:17-05

The Omaha Public Schools board received a scathing audit of its bus service at Monday night's meeting.

The audit was done as a result of the busing problems that hit the district at the beginning of the school year. The report found there was not enough training for employees, routes were set up for failure, and there were simply not enough drivers. The report also states that school principals and the district's department of transportation do not have a direct phone number to Student Transportation of America to resolve urgent and other time sensitive issues.  It also found the transportation department does not have a phone call center that can serve as a single point of contact for parents and schools to resolve transportation issues.  Parents are often confused by the multiple numbers they need to call to address concerns, and STA told parents to call their child's school regarding transportation problems.

OPS says In order to improve the lack of effective communication to parents and schools, DoT has either implemented or is in the process of implementing the following: Updated the DoT public website which offers staff emergency and critical phone numbers, assistance on frequently asked questions, and information in multiple languages. Implemented a customer service training program in coordination with District Professional Development staff for the employees of DoT and the contract service provider.  And it's sent a weather information letter to parents to proactively inform them of transportation protocols with regard to winter weather events 

Thus far, DoT has been credited a total of $269,089.45 for the billable months of August, September and October for liquidated damages as a result of STA's late performances.