Each student eligible for transportation services will be issued a student identification card that includes their name and a SMART Tag barcode, which will be scanned each time a student enters and exits the bus. No other information regarding the student is stored on the card.
The district began implementing the program on campuses in fall 2019, with campuses added every few weeks to the busing system, staff confirmed Feb. 21. An online parent portal was created in November, where parents registered for the portal will receive an alert in the form of a text approximately 10-15 minutes prior their child's pickup and drop-off.
The portal will keep a log of a student's ridership activity for the entire school year. Student ID badges are retained year-to-year and will not be reissued each academic year. If a student has multiple destinations that require varying bus routes, drivers will be able to override the student's ID information and add them to an additional ridership roster.
Additional stops must be assigned through and approved by the RRISD Transportation Department. Examples of approved multi-stop ridership rosters for students include dual-households, the residence of a student's grandparent or a licensed child care facility. Multi-stop ridership requests can be made by district parents by contacting their child's campus, which will redirect the request to the transportation department.
Editor's note: This story has been updated to provide additional information on multi-stop ridership rosters.