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Elementary and Primary Education
Houston Independent School District
News Release
Friday, May 27, 2011

HISD Transportation Listed Among the 100 Best Fleets in the Country


Government Fleet, a leading transportation industry magazine, has announced the top 100 fleets for 2011 and HISD is the only school district in the country to earn a spot on the list. In years past, school districts have rarely made the list.


HISD’s Chief Operating Officer Leo Bobadilla said, “I am proud of our entire transportation team for achieving this prestigious honor and the work of our bus drivers, mechanics and all other staff for their commitment to safely transport our students to and from school everyday.”


HISD’s Transportation General Manager Nathan Graf said, “The passion and hard work of the HISD shop team members earned them this top industry award.  To say that they are elated is an understatement. Senior Manager of Fleet Operations Mark Swackhamer and I are extremely proud to work with such an outstanding group of individuals.  Day in and day out, they are committed to making sure Houston’s children are provided with safe, reliable, and environmentally friendly transportation.”


Each year the top 100 fleets are chosen based on documentation of key performance measurements used to track work progress, use of technology, evidence of a high trust culture where employees feel confident to voice their opinions on procedures, repairing vehicles right the first time, and quick efficient turnarounds on repairs.


The Top 100 list is, for now, not ranked in any particular order. Those rankings are revealed at the Annual Government Fleet Expo and Conference, when the Top 20 fleets in the country are named. This year’s conference is scheduled for June 8.


HISD operates and maintains 1,002 school buses. The fleet transports 29,000 students daily clocking more than 13 million miles a year. HISD’s commitment to efficiency has resulted in a cost per route mile of $2.37, compared to the statewide average of $2.54.


The district also has a large non-school bus fleet comprised of gas, diesel and hybrid vehicles that rack up 8 million miles annually. The district uses about 1.9 million gallons of diesel and 600,000 gallons of gasoline each year.


HISD has converted all of its school buses and diesel light-fleet vehicles to biodiesel derived from renewable sources such as soybeans which is expected to reduce harmful emissions by up to 5 percent and extend the life of engine parts.


HISD also received $2.2 million in grant funding to purchase 25 propane buses. HISD estimates each propane bus will save more than $3,000 a year in fuel and maintenance costs and will reduce particulate matter by 99.99 percent over older petroleum diesel buses.


The district has already added particulate traps and closed crankcase ventilation filters to more than 440 buses for added emission reduction and is in the process of adding particulate traps to 50 more buses. The district transportation department is also partnering with the University of Houston to test emerging emission reduction technology.


The Houston Independent School District is the largest school district in Texas and the seventh-largest in the United States with 298 schools and more than 200,000 students. The 301-square-mile district is one of the largest employers in the Houston metropolitan area with nearly 30,000 employees. For more information, visit the HISD Web site at

Ocean Star

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