Sometimes, smaller is better – even when it comes to the $966 million 2019 Bond. And even when it comes to school buses.
The 2019 Bond is purchasing new school buses for the Arlington ISD, including 87 big new buses, phased over the five years of the bond program. But the bond is also buying 22 new shuttle buses. Though much smaller, the shuttle buses are making a big impact on the district’s transportation.
The twelve shuttle buses ordered in phase one of the 2019 Bond program are now in service, and ten more ordered in phase two should arrive in Arlington early next year. That will make for a total of 40 shuttles in the district fleet.
The 14-passenger shuttles have a V-6 engine, video cameras and collision avoidance backup sensors. They are perfect for meeting the transportation needs of small groups of students when a large bus really isn’t necessary.
“Since the educational opportunities for students have expanded beyond the traditional school building, shuttle buses have become a more efficient and effective way of transporting small groups throughout the school day,” said Guy Jones, Arlington ISD’s fleet manager. “They are also helpful in transporting small athletic and academic groups versus using a large bus or multiple Suburbans.”
The number of small student groups requiring transportation has grown in recent years as specialized programs and a growing variety of opportunities offered by the district have increased. Using shuttles instead of full-size school buses for these groups makes sense, is more comfortable for the students and is cost-effective for the district. The shuttles have better fuel economy than larger buses, are lower profile, take up less space to park and cost less to maintain. Plus, drivers are not required to have a CDL license.
“The shuttles are a good fit for the district due in part to their versatility to transport small groups and maximizing the capacity of all our routes,” said Tim Collins, Arlington ISD director of transportation.
With more than 300 buses, plus the 56 shuttles, serving nearly 57,000 students, Arlington ISD’s transportation department is always busy and always has job opportunities. If you love kids and like to drive, we have the perfect job for you. With the shuttles, you don’t even have to have a CDL. Visit Arlington ISD’s jobs webpage today to apply.