IPS changing transportation service, getting new fleet of buses

IPS changing transportation service, getting new fleet of buses

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Indianapolis Public Schools is revamping their entire bus system, putting all of their stock in a company called First Student Transportation.

IPS says with the new system, kids are going to be on brand-new buses with top-of-the-line technology. It sounds great, but with changes come concerns.

Right now, IPS buses are in a shared system between the district and Durham School Services, but this July, they’ll all be under First Student Transportation. IPS claims First Student is the largest system in the country and they’ll purchase an entirely new fleet of school buses for use in the district.

“Great!” said IPS parent Quincy Ware. “About time! About time! IPS has been due! We need new buildings too! And the teachers also need more money. I’m voting teachers get more money.”

IPS says even with the new fleet, which can be tracked by an app, the school district is saving $7 million.

“That’s going to save IPS some money where they can take that money, maybe put it into some other programs in the sports, or probably the music program, is what’s lacking in school programs now,” IPS alumnus Donald Noel said. “Anything that can save money and put that money somewhere else, that’s going to help the kids, not put into some big fat wig’s pocket, we good.”

“Anything to help save the kids money,” IPS alumnus Timothy Kimbrough said. “You know, everything is good because IPS is going down. It’d be nice to help the kids in the community.”

But what happens to the bus drivers? IPS says it’s working to transition their “successful employees” to the new company, and that those employees would keep their same pay.

But one driver who spoke to News 8 off-camera said morale is low because employees will need to reapply to keep their jobs.

IPS says all employees staying on until the end of the school year will get retention bonuses. The district released this statement about the transition:

“Making the transition to First Student will improve the quality and reliability of transportation for our students and provide increased peace of mind for families. We value our employees and their loyal service and will work cooperatively with First Student to help all successful teammates find a new job within the company.”

Indianapolis Public Schools

IPS says they’re not issuing any further comments, so parents will have to wait to see how the new system works. The current system is going to stay in place until June 30, with the new one taking over on July 1.