At its July 15 meeting, the School Board approved a plan to bring transportation services in-house. The decision was made after review of a comprehensive transportation study that showed substantial cost-savings.
Currently, our district’s two contracted bus companies (Positive Connections and Koch) travel over 2 million miles annually across 91 routes serving our students. The transportation study looked at the current contract costs for those companies, and then considered what it would look like if the district invested in its own fleet, drivers, and support services.
Eastern Carver County Schools will own the buses, employ all staff, and take on all related costs. It is estimated that the district’s transportation costs will decrease approximately 5.1% for a total savings of almost $4.6 million over ten years. While significant, cost savings aren’t the only reason for this decision.
By bringing the district’s transportation services and staff in-house, all operations can be managed via one point of contact. Dispatch, drivers, mechanics and routers, will be employed by the district, increasing our ability to better communicate with families and manage problems more effectively and efficiently as they arise. That means better monitoring of conditions, better communication around pick-ups and drop-offs, and better maintenance of the fleet so that our students have – and our families can expect – consistent, high-quality transportation.
The decision to bring transportation services in-house is independent of any outcome of the fall referendum. To make sure the transition is as seamless as possible for Eastern Carver County Schools families, work will happen over the next two years and in-house operations will begin in the fall of 2021.