Durham Performance Update
Waukee Community School District started the school year with a new busing company, Durham School Services. They were awarded a three-year contract to operate bus services for the District.
The initial months were problematic as the level of service experienced by many families did not meet the expectations of Durham School Services or Waukee Community School District.
To address the issues, Waukee Community School District has been working closely with Durham to implement changes to improve our transportation service. While our relationship with Durham School Services started out “rocky,” we believe Durham now has the right staff in place to meet our needs. The safety of our students and efficiency of our operations are top priorities for Waukee Community School District. We will continue to work with Durham School Services to provide safe and quality transportation for our students.
Durham Performance Facts:
- Durham hired a new general manager. Chet Bor brings with him 23 years of experience in school and public transportation and as a Waukee Schools’ parent he can relate to the needs of our parent community.
- Durham staffing levels have improved. There are now more drivers than routes to decrease chances of late buses or temporary drivers assigned to routes.
- Durham has hired additional and experienced dispatch staff.
- Durham office staff have received additional customer service training. As a result the response time to emails and phone calls has improved.
- In November, Durham School Services began working with the district’s communications coordinator to use SchoolMessenger to communicate bus information. Parents are now able to receive an email and/or text messages when there is a change or delay of more than 10 min.
- Durham conducted an on-time study to compare actual route performance to schedules. As a result, buses are much more consistent in running their routes correctly and on time.
- Improvements have been made to the activity bus request process. As a result, buses are now running more consistently.
- Durham has begun planning and preparation for the next school year with the School District. Durham is adding buses and routes to meet Waukee’s rapid growth.
- Durham School Services does not provide fuel for the buses. Waukee Community School District purchases fuel from Quick Fuel. The District switched to a premium winter grade fuel on Tuesday, January 21 and will be fueling all buses with the premium winter grade fuel until temperatures are forecasted to improve.
- Durham was awarded an approximate $1.9 million per year contract that included a liquidated damages clause. To date, the District has only paid approximately $13,000 towards the contract and has enacted the liquidated damages clause. In consultation with Durham, the August, September and October bills were reduced by 10%. This is an approximate savings of $71,800 to the district.