Top 3 Bidders Selected for Possible Transportation Privatization - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

Top 3 Bidders Selected for Possible Transportation Privatization

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An evaluation committee selected the top three private companies bidding to run transportation for the Bay District Schools. Outsourcing is one of the options suggested to meet the security, efficiency and cost reduction objectives.

At a transportation workshop Thursday morning, district officials presented some information impacting these considerations. One of the main reasons the District is looking at privatization is to upgrade an aging bus fleet.

Nearly 30 percent of the Districts buses need to be replaced, and the money saved from outsourcing could help the District meet this objective.

According to Ken Phillips, the Director of the Transportation department the average age of the currents buses is about 13.6 years-old. In Thursday's presentation, the goal was to bring this age to an average of 7 years-old.

If the District chooses to privatize, it is hoping to save at least half a million dollars a year, money that could go to replacing these aging buses.

The review committee narrowed down the companies from five to three:

Durham School Services- $6.19 million

First Student Inc. -$5.54 million

Student Transportation of America- $6.37 million

Currently the District pays 7.5 million dollars a year for transportation including the cost for fuel. The prices proposed by the companies do not include the 1.1 million dollars a year the district will also have to pay for gas.

John Harrison, the general manager of purchasing says there were several factors considered by the review committee.

"As stated in the RFP, we looked at cost, the ability of the firm to do the job, which included references and current jobs which they do in other places, and the solidity of the firm .Their past record with safety issues and safety issues and all kind of factors like that," says Harrison.

The three companies will make the oral presentations next Wednesday.