Keeping the Wheels on the Bus Going Round and Round: Challenges of an Urban School Transportation System

October 24, 2012

Wednesday, October 24, 2012 at 4:30 p.m.
Allison Dining Room, 5th floor, Taubman Building, 15 Eliot Street

Carl Allen(HKS 2010), Director of Transportation, Boston Public Schools

Carl will be speaking about the challenges managing a large urban school transportation system in a highly complex and political environment. Boston Public Schools (BPS) serves over 220 public, private, and charter schools in the Boston area with yellow bus service - transporting over 32,000 students every day. 750 City-owned buses run 3,800 trips per day, traveling 9 million miles each year. Boston’s extensive school transportation system has been the subject of much public scrutiny over the past several years, as operational challenges and poor on-time performance frustrated schools and families; and now "busing" is the center of a city-wide debate over a new student assignment plan (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/05/education/new-boston-busing-debate-4-decades-after-fervid-clashes.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0).
Before assuming the role of Director of Transportation with BPS, Carl worked as a Program Director in the BPS Office of Accountability developing tools, analyses, and processes to enhance data use in the Turnaround Schools and throughout the district. Carl has also worked with the Volpe Center in Cambridge, where he focused on training and workforce development. In addition, he has experience working in community development, financial derivatives, software development, and as a high school math teacher in the Peace Corps in Ghana. Carl graduated with a Master of Public Policy and Urban Planning (MPP/UP) degree from the Harvard Kennedy School in 2010. His undergraduate degree was in industrial engineering at Northwestern University, and he currently lives in Jamaica Plain.