CPS alumnus creates carpooling network due to shortage of school bus drivers



CHICAGO – The shortage of school bus drivers is leaving many Chicago public school families in dire straits to get their children to school. Now, a former CPS offers an alternative to the school bus – a carpooling network.

Ismael El-Amin said he identified a problem.

“We have three different places to drop off the children, we also work, we are also actively social”,

The husband and father of three, a Princeton-trained Chicago Public School software engineer, said he had found a solution.

“An online platform where parents can find other parents and suggest the route they are already driving,” El-Amin said.

Amin launched the “Piggyback network”With a college friend last month. It took years, but it stems from the fact that many families are scrambling to find transportation options. A shortage of school bus drivers has left more than 3,000 CPS students without regular bus service.

“We have a lot of parents signing up and calling to look for the ride,” Amin said. “We don’t have as many parents offering the ride themselves, so if someone is there you have an extra seat and you’re already driving your route, you can sign up as a driver and help a other family. “

Anyone interested can estimate the costs of the trip through the website, with discounts available for bulk purchases. As far as safety is concerned, drivers must undergo a background check and families have the option to screen the drivers themselves.

“The next step. Once you match the route, we don’t force a driver on you,” Amin said. “You can meet this family yourself and do your own personal screening.”


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