Report: Pinellas bus stop problems result of system failures, not incompetence
Two big mistakes – underestimating the number of students who would use “arterial” bus stops, and not continuing to assess those stops as routing deadlines neared – helped lead to the chaos that reigned over a handful of Pinellas bus stops at the beginning of the school year, a new report concludes.
The 15-page report, obtained by The Gradebook, echoes the preliminary conclusions made by associate superintendent Michael Bessette in this St. Petersburg Times story in September. But it goes into far more detail about how the bus system works and how a combination of budget cuts, policy decisions, bad timing, technological limitations and institutional inertia led it to fall short.
“The answer to the question of how so many students got assigned the same stop became apparent after reviewing the routing process,” it says. “Individual routers added new students to the same stop and no one suggested a final manual accounting be done prior to the first day of school. Past practice did not spark staff to question the impact of the inclusion of 130 new arterial stops.”
The report also offers this conclusion: “In this review, necessary system improvements were identified but no substantiation of incompetence and/or neglect on the part of personnel was found. What was confirmed is that many dedicated people tried their best to do a good job.”