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 ideal candidate 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 developing, implementing, and coordinating 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 Assistant Director of Transportation and Regional Transportation Managers as direct reports.
The Director of Transportation Operations must currently live in or be willing to relocate to Texas.
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:
- 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.
Other benefits include dental and vision plans, disability, life insurance, parenting benefits, 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.
In this role, you will:
- Ensure the Transportation Department adheres to all applicable organization, local, state, and federal rules, regulations, and organizational SOPs.
- 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 and 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.
- Act on historical data to ensure future re-occurrences are mitigated.
- Assess and ensure routes are being run in the safest and most efficient manner possible. Long routes, with low ridership, equal a low linear density.
- Oversee the preparation and submission of the TEA Transportation Route Service and Operations
- Enforce the use of routing and ridership software to monitor, track, and balance student ridership across the district while auditing rosters to ensure all buses are under capacity before, during, and after the first day of school.
- Effective training of managers around IDEA's Student ID policies for the mitigation of lost IDs and best practices for ensuring 95% of students are utilizing their ID in scanning onto and off the bus.
- Create an internal audit mechanism that will be used to implement corrective action plans for campuses not meeting under and over-capacity expectations.
- Ensure there are no stops outside of an 8-mile radius of campuses.
- Decrease or eliminate stops where students must cross the street in front of the bus.
- Ensure community stops are well-lit and safe locations.
- Ensure there are no 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).
- 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 of all operational areas of the Department’s Budget.
- 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.
Required Experience and Certifications:
- Education: Bachelor’s degree in Business Management, Transportation, Supply Chain Management, Logistics, or relevant field of study required. Master of Business Administration or other related advanced degree preferred.
- Experience: 10+ years in a leadership role(s) within school bus transportation or related transportation industry, oversight of multiple units across several regions.
- Licenses or Certifications (Preferred): Certified Texas Pupil Transportation Administrator (CTPTA) or Certified Texas Pupil Transportation Official (CTPTO).
- Bilingual Spanish/English is highly desirable.
Desired Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:
- Ability to lead, motivate, and develop a diverse group of individuals across multiple regions.
- Strong computer literacy that includes an understanding of Microsoft Office Suite (i.e., Word, Excel, PowerPoint).
- Strong mathematical skills and the ability to understand and interpret data (charts, graphs, etc.).
- Strong organizational, communication, and interpersonal skills.
- Excellent oral, written, and presentation skills.
- Demonstrate problem-solving, adaptability, and flexibility; can reprioritize workload due to inclement weather, schedule changes, and any other potential setback
- Can work independently with little direction.
- Can handle stress well to meet time-sensitive deliverables.
- Able to work prolonged and irregular hours, especially in the months leading to our first day of school.
- Able to travel approximately 30% of the work week.
As the leader, you will be responsible for setting a strategy that guides the team to reach the following ambitious goals:
- Department meets budgeted Cost Per Mile/Cost Per Rider goal before the end of the fiscal year.
- Department achieves 85% retention of Transportation staff before the end of the fiscal year.
- Department achieves a 15% increase in preventable collision-free miles from the previous school year.
- 100% of campuses offering transportation will scan 95% of their student transportation ridership throughout the school year.
- 100% of staff hired and onboarded before the beginning of the school year. Transportation Managers are hired before Spring Break. Transportation Assistant Managers and Drivers are hired before May 1st.
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.
At IDEA the Staff Culture and Belonging Team uses our Core Values to promote human connection and a culture of integrity, respect, and belonging for all Team and Family members. Learn more about our Commitment to Core Values here: https://ideapublicschools.org/our-story/#core-values
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