Role Mission: The Director of Transportation Operations will be responsible for planning and administering the day-to-day operations of a complex and demanding school bus transportation program in multiple states and regions. The incumbent is expected to maintain control over the effective and efficient performance of the school bus transportation program and is responsible for the hiring, onboarding, development, and retention of the Transportation staff at the campus and regional levels.
Additionally, the Director is also responsible for the development, implementation, and coordination of training programs and policies to ensure compliance with all applicable local, state, and federal regulations. In this role, the Director must ensure alignment between the technology used in the department and the policies implemented with the ultimate goal of maximizing the safety and efficiency of the transportation program.
The ideal candidate must possess an in-depth knowledge of DOT rules and regulations as well as other federal, state, and local agencies overseeing and impacting the transportation program. Qualified candidates must possess the ability to communicate effectively with a wide variety of people and influence actions.
The Director of Transportation Operations will report directly to the VP of Transportation and Warehousing and will have the Regional Transportation Managers as direct reports.
What We Offer
- Salaries for people entering this role typically fall between $82,090 and $100,971, commensurate with relevant experience and qualifications and in alignment with internal equity. This role is also eligible for a performance bonus based on organizational performance and goal attainment.
We offer a comprehensive benefits plan, covering the majority of the employee premium for the base medical plan and subsidizing the majority of costs for a spouse/domestic partner and children. Some of the special benefits we offer at IDEA include:
- Flexible Credits Plan: IDEA provides full-time eligible employees $1,000-$2,000 per year (pro-rated for mid-year hires) to use towards a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) or receive as a taxable cash benefit.
- Paid Family Leave: Eligible staff may receive up to 8 weeks of paid leave for the birth or adoption of a child, based on their tenure with the organization and caregiver designation.
- Tuition Reimbursement: Staff members may apply for up to 50% of tuition paid toward a qualifying degree program, up to $5,250 maximum per year subject to manager discretion and budget availability.
- Employer-Paid Mental/Behavioral Health: 5 face-to-face counseling sessions within a year, unlimited 24/7 telephonic counseling, and other work-life services available at no cost.
- Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Professional Development: We offer staff opportunities to engage in identity-based affinity space and leadership training covering a variety of topics such as culturally competent leadership, models of equity, mitigating bias, and more.
Other benefits include dental and vision plans, disability, life insurance, parenting benefits, flexible spending account options, generous vacation time, referral bonuses and professional development. IDEA may offer a relocation allowance to defray the cost of moving for this role, if applicable.
15% Increase in Preventable Collision Free Miles from the previous year
- Ensure all Campus Transportation Managers adhere to all applicable organization, local, state, and federal rules, regulations, and operating procedures
- Enforce safety policies and procedures and make decisions in collaboration with the HR business partner regarding appropriate discipline for infractions
- Create, maintain, and communicate safety-related policies, procedures, and trainings as well as ensure that they are followed
- Investigate accidents, injuries, or illnesses occurring in the workplace, and enlist assistance from other supervisory personnel or outside consultants if necessary. Investigation reports must include factual statements of what occurred, conclusions, and recommendations for corrective or preventive actions
- Create/update and maintain a collision reporting portal for the Transportation team that allows team members to submit collision reports in an organized, intuitive, and effective manner
- Create/update and maintain a collision tracker for the Transportation team that gives accurate historical data on past collisions, their root cause, and the next steps to mitigate further collisions.
- Act on historical data to ensure future reoccurrences are mitigated
District achieves a minimum linear density rate of 1.65
- Will be responsible to manage route lengths and ensure they are being run in the safest and most efficient manner possible. Long routes, with low ridership, equal a low linear density
- Ensure that IDEA Public Schools the best return from the state while minimizing organizational costs to IDEA. A linear density rate of 1.65 will result in a per-mile reimbursement rate of $1.25
- Create/update an effective Linear Density Tracker in the Transportation Dashboard that combines the route mileage from Routefinder and the student ridership from Zonar to ensure:
- An accurate, real-time measure of our linear density rate. This should update every day
- Managers have clear visibility of each of their routes and the associated linear density
- We quickly course-correct on routes that are not meeting the linear density goal.
- Oversee the preparation and submission of the TEA Transportation Route Service report
- Ensure all routes in Routefinder are accurate and up-to-date
- Ensure ridership is being accurately reported through Zonar
- Ensure IDEA receives a minimum of $1.11 reimbursement for the mileage that was run for all regular routes that are submitted.
- Measure and report all third party SPED vendor routes so IDEA receives reimbursement for them
- Oversee the preparation and submission of the TEA Transportation Operations report
- Accurately report on the total number of expenditures that are associated with employee salaries, buses purchased/contracted supplies, and depreciation
- Leverage Zonar to report on the actual mileage run in routes and other mileage
- Leverage ServiceFinder to Report on the total vehicle inventory that IDEA owns
Assure bus utilization is maintained at 65% of bus maximum capacity while not exceeding 110% of roster capacity
- Enforce the use of Routefinder and Zonar to monitor, track and balance student ridership across the district while auditing Roster Counts to ensure all buses are under 110% Capacity before the first day of school (FDOS)
- Create/update an effective Bus Utilization Tracker in the Transportation Dashboard that combines the bus capacities from Routefinder and the student ridership from Zonar ensuring:
- Bus capacities in Routefinder are accurate to actual capacities
- We compare real-time student ridership of Zonar to the vehicle capacities in Routefinder ensuring ridership is at a minimum of 65% capacity
- Manage the Student ID Policy for the Transportation department ensuring:
- Managers have enough supplies and training to print all student IDs needed. This will include partnering with third-party vendors, sourcing and procuring supplies in an economical and timely manner for IDEA
- Student IDs are distributed to parents and students during Welcome to IDEA events leading up to the FDOS
- Effective communication is sent to parents and students informing them of the importance of students having their IDs with them when utilizing transportation
- Communication is sent to parents that achieves of a 65% parent utilization of the Here Comes the Bus (HCTB) app.
- 98% of students who will utilize transportation have an effective student ID on their person during the FDOS
- Effective training of managers around IDEAs Student ID policies for the mitigation of lost IDs and best practices for ensuring 99% of students are utilizing their ID in scanning onto and off the bus
- Develop and guide Transportation Team Leads to work closely with Campus Transportation Managers to ensure campuses monitor Zonar ridership and update changes in a timely manner
- Create an internal audit mechanism that will be used to implement corrective action plans for campuses not meeting under and over capacity expectations
Ensure routes meet Transportation Route Standards
- We use community stops and do not offer door to door transportation. To ensure efficiency you will review current stop pool to ensure we do not have routes that are violating our policy of no more than 6 stops per route
- Most of our buses do not have AC therefore we need to ensure routes are comfortable for students and that they are not required to ride in the bus for more than 60 minutes
- No stops outside of an 8-mile radius from campuses
- No stops where students must cross the street in front of the bus
- Ensure that the locations of stops are safe for all students who are utilizing them:
- Due to the dangers of streets with High speeds we have adopted a policy of not allowing stops on streets with speed limits that exceed 35mph
- Community stops must be well lit and safe locations
- Ensure there are not dangers for students in walking to their homes (mean dogs, major roads to be crossed with speed limits in excess of 35mph, lack of sidewalks forcing students to walk in the streets)
100% of campuses meet or exceed Cost Per Rider goal
- Assesses root cause of financial variance; establishes actions to mitigate/recover.
- Educates / aligns regional team on financial and operational performance metrics.
- Coordinate with the Finance and Procurement Manager to develop trainings on operational efficiencies and best practices for campus Transportation managers throughout the academic year
- Monitor the Transportation Performance Tracker (monthly) and identify opportunities to decrease expenses and increase reclassified revenue
- Manage processes to ensure organizational goals and objectives are met including full oversight on all operational areas of the Department’s Budget
Create systems for maintaining data metrics and accuracy for all aspects of the Transportation team
- Set up dashboards with metrics for team from multiple organizational systems to ensure accuracy in all functions
- Reports on discrepancies and root causes and work towards improvements each month
- Monitors the Transportation Dashboard created by the School Operations Project Analyst and partners with Transportation Functional areas to identify and resolve any discrepancies.
- Runs audits to ensure legacy systems have accurate data.
- Create meaningful comparisons to use data to drive future results of the Transportation Department
- Proactively and reactively addresses system functionality concerns and issues that employees have with a high degree of professionalism and a customer service orientation.
Knowledge and Skills:
- Excellent communication skills both oral and written (Spanish Bilingual Strongly Preferred)
- Proficiency in utilizing our routing and telematics software - Routefinder and Zonar
- Identify areas to increase efficiency and automation of processes
- Create and maintain automated data processes
- Identify, evaluate and implement external services and tools to support data validation
- Produce and track key performance indicators
- Develop and support reporting processes
- Monitor and audit data quality
- Liaise with internal and external clients to fully understand data content
- Design and carry out surveys and analyses survey data
- Create data dashboards, graphs and visualizations
- Strong work ethic with personal drive for success exemplifying “whatever it takes” attitude
- Ability to work with schedules and deadlines as required, in a timely manner
- Excellent organizational skills
- Strong financial analytical skills including cost control
- Desire advanced proficiency in MS Office products including (but not limited to) Excel, Word, Outlook, Access, Power BI, PowerApps, Forms, PPT, SharePoint, InfoPath, etc., and other data tools to analyze data and provide appropriate visualizations and insights
- Experience with database management - SQL knowledge desired
Qualifications and Requirements:
- Bachelor’s Degree required
- Master of Business Administration or other related advanced degree preferred
- At least five years of experience in Transportation Route Management or a related field
- At least three years of progressive experience in employee hiring, screening and development
- At least three years of progressive experience in Transportation Operations (Planning, scheduling and dispatching)
- The position is an office-based position with regular visits to campus sites located in different regions. The Route Manager will perform some overnight work-related travel.
We look for Team and Family who embody the following values and characteristics:
- Believes and is committed to our mission and being an agent of change: that all students are capable of getting to and through college
- Has demonstrated effective outcomes and results, and wants to be held accountable for them
- Has a propensity for action, willing to make mistakes by doing in order to learn and improve quickly
- Works with urgency and purpose to drive student outcomes
- Thrives in an entrepreneurial, high-growth environment; is comfortable with ambiguity and change
- Seeks and responds well to feedback, which is shared often and freely across all levels of the organization
- Works through silos and forges strong cross-departmental relationships in order to achieve outcomes
- We believe in education as a profession and hold ourselves to high level of conduct, professionalism and behaviors as models for our colleagues and students
About IDEA Public Schools
At IDEA Public Schools, we believe each and every child can go to college. Since 2000, IDEA Public Schools has grown from a small school with 150 students to a multi-state network of tuition-free, Pre-K-12 public charter schools.
IDEA Public Schools boasts national rankings on The Washington Post and U.S. News & World Report’s top high schools lists. IDEA serves over 80,000 college-bound students in 143 schools across Texas, Louisiana, Florida, Ohio, and is on-track to maintain its legacy of sending 100% of its graduates to college.
When you choose to work at IDEA, you are part of our IDEA Team and Family. You will work alongside team members who set and reach ambitious goals every day, are excited to continue to grow with IDEA, and work relentlessly to make college for all a reality.
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
At IDEA we recognize that racism, bias, and privilege exist in society. We are committed to an organizational culture that promotes awareness and inclusivity for our students and staff and supports their path to positively impact our broader society. We are committed to recognizing the impact of racism and privilege, and commit as an organization to have equitable practices, policies, and structures. Visit https://ideapublicschools.org/dei/ to learn about IDEA’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Anti-Racist and Anti-Bias commitment.
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