DORCHESTER COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - Durham School Services will no longer manage school bus transportation for Dorchester District Two after this school year, according to school district officials.
Dorchester School District Two Board of Trustees voted Monday to take over the operation and maintenance of the school bus transportation system at the close of the 2014-2015 school year.
Board Chairman Gail Hughes said a new contract with Durham, who has managed the district's bus transportation since 2011, would have included a price increase next year.
"This is a good step forward for the district to take control of school bus operations," Hughes said in a release from the school district.
According to a review by DD2 Bus Transportation Liaison Fred Hoose, the district can operate the bus transportation system more efficiently themselves while saving money.
Officials say the decision not to renew Durham's contract will save the district approximately $200,000.
That extra money is important, as the Board of Trustees approved the purchase of 15 additional school buses for next year during its March 16 board meeting.
The district released the following statement:
Following an Executive Session on Monday, April 13th, Dorchester School District Two Board of Trustees voted to take over the operation and maintenance of the school bus transportation system at the close of the 2014-2015 school year. The district will not renew the contract with Durham School Services who has managed bus transportation service for the district since 2011-2012. First Student and Durham School Services responded to a request for proposals for management of district school bus operations issued on February 26th by the district. Board Chairman Gail Hughes said the new contract with Durham would have included a cost increase for next year. Hughes said, "This is a good step forward for the district to take control of school bus operations."
Fred Hoose, district bus transportation liaison, has conducted an extensive review of district bus operations over the past months and reported that the district could operate the bus transportation system more efficiently and more economically. By taking over bus operations rather than outsourcing this service, district officials project there would be a savings of approximately $200,000 in the projected 2015-2016 operating budget. In addition, district officials estimate by factoring in other operational expenses not included in the proposals submitted by outside companies, such as the benefit package for bus drivers, savings would approach 2 ½ to 3 million dollars. The Board of Trustees and district leadership have worked toward improvement of student bus service this year with several initiatives, such as the purchase of 15 additional school buses for next year approved by the Board of Trustees at the March 16th board meeting.
Board Vice Chairman Tanya Robinson commented that she felt this was the right decision for the safety of students. "The district can now control the safety of our students from the time they leave home each morning until they arrive back home at the end of the day," said Robinson.