Press Releases | August 11, 2021

DriveIndySchools pilot to help solve bus transportation challenges for Indianapolis schools

INDIANAPOLIS – (August 11, 2021) – The Mind Trust today announced DriveIndySchools, a pilot that will explore a collaborative, community-driven solution to public school transportation challenges. The pilot will offer five schools efficient routing services, operational support, and bus driver recruitment and training to help meet the transportation needs of students and families. DriveIndySchools is a partnership between The Mind Trust, 4mativ Technologies, Miller Transportation, Believe Circle City High School, Global Preparatory Academy, Invent Learning Hub, Promise Prep, and Rooted School Indianapolis. 

“As schools across Indiana face driver shortages, the DriveIndySchools pilot aims to help more Indianapolis students and families access safe, reliable bus transportation by providing schools with bus driver recruitment, training, and operational support,” said Kristin Grimme, Senior Vice President of Strategy for The Mind Trust. “The Mind Trust and our partners believe immediate action should be taken to address this growing need and begin working toward sustainable, long-term solutions.”

The need to secure an adequate number of qualified, responsible school bus drivers is more urgent than ever for schools in Central Indiana. In response, DriveIndySchools will provide financial incentives and support for candidates who are interested in pursuing driver training and qualification in Indianapolis. Participating schools encourage their neighbors, family members, and friends to consider the opportunity to serve students in their community through this rewarding career. 

Interested candidates should visit driveindyschools.com to learn more and apply. Prior school bus driver experience is not required, however candidates should be 21 years of age or older, have a minimum of 3 years of experience driving on public roads, and be able to pass a background check and drug test. Candidates should also meet the qualifications to obtain a commercial learner’s permit (CPL) in Indiana

Hired drivers will have the opportunity to enter a free driver-in-training program throughout the entire CDL-B acquisition process to be ready to transport students within 60 days, as well as a $500 bonus when the permit is earned. A second $500 bonus will be paid when the driver completes 90 days of work. Drivers will be employees of Miller Transportation, which offers competitive pay of $21 per hour, healthcare, paid time off, and a 401(k) retirement. One daily route earns 5 hours minimum, with the opportunity for extra trips and hours. 

In addition to bus driver recruitment and training, schools in the pilot will receive routing and operational support from 4mativ Technologies, which specializes in creating and managing innovative school mobility solutions. The pilot will measure potential time and cost savings created by consolidating services for several smaller schools. 

“4mativ is proud to be part of this collaborative effort to build an efficient network that brings more value to Indianapolis schools and families through supply and service options that will set them on a sustainable footing for the long term,” said Carl Allen, COO and President of 4mativ Technologies. 

Over the last ten years, more families have taken advantage of the growing number of high-quality public schools in Indianapolis. Enrollment at independent charter schools in Indianapolis has increased 26.4% since 2011. Solutions like DriveIndySchools can help preserve a family’s access to their preferred school community. 

“For families without reliable transportation, figuring out how to get their children to school can provide challenges that make their school of choice an unrealistic option,” said Ma’at Lands, Founding School Leader of Rooted SChool Indianapolis. “Free and reliable transportation can help improve a student’s attendance and academic performance. Rooted School Indianapolis is excited to be a DriveIndySchools partner and believe we will see a positive effect on our students’ health, safety, and academic outcomes.”

“Students and families should have access to safe, reliable transportation options that get them to and from the school that best meets their needs,” said Brandon Brown, CEO of The Mind Trust. “The Mind Trust is excited to see how the DriveIndySchools pilot can help solve current transportation needs and inform potential long-term solutions to impact more students, families, and schools.”

About 4Mativ Technologies

4mativ provides comprehensive and integrated transportation management and consultative solutions for schools, districts, and others in the education ecosystem. 4mativ aims to save schools money, to enhance compliance and safety, and to remove the headaches that transportation induces for schools and families. The 4mativ founders bring unparalleled expertise, first in education – as teachers, administrators and consultants across educational disciplines. They also collectively have decades of transportation management, operations and consulting experience, including directly running school bus, public transit, paratransit, rail, and retail/on-demand transportation services for cities across the United States, and as thought leaders in performance management of transportation systems and the future of mobility.

About The Mind Trust

The Mind Trust is an Indianapolis-based education nonprofit that works to build a system of schools that gives every student in Indianapolis, no exceptions, access to a high-quality education. The Mind Trust does this by building a supportive environment for schools through policy and community engagement, empowering talented, diverse educators to launch new schools, and providing existing schools with the support they need to hire world-class talent and achieve excellence. Since 2006, The Mind Trust has supported the launch of 38 schools, 14 education nonprofit organizations, and has helped place more than 1,600 teachers and school leaders in Indianapolis classrooms.