District News ➤ Article 2595
Thumbnail Image for Article 2595BOE agrees to contract transportation services with Durham School Services
Posted Date: 02/09/2016

At the Monday, Feb. 8 Board of Education Meeting, the Board voted to contract transportation services with Durham School Services. Transportation has been a discussion in our district for the past two years. Here are the three priorities that were set when deciding to contract transportation services:

  1. Provide the highest level of service and safety for our students and patrons.
  2. Ensure district transportation services are financially viable now and in the future.
  3. Ensure our transportation employees are not negatively impacted by any changes that are made in the system.

With these priorities, here are details that the contract will provide for the district:

  1. Provide the highest level of service and safety for our students and patrons.
    1. Updated buses
    2. Technology enhancements throughout the system
    3. Enhanced safety and training for all staff
    4. Increased number of staff
    5. Consistent routing and dependable pickup and delivery times
    6. Enhanced Communication
  2. Ensure district transportation services are financially viable now and in the future.
    1. Reduce the five-hour guarantee to four without hurting employees because of an average thirty percent increase in hourly wage
    2. Begin adding new buses to our fleet
    3. Addresses shortage of drives and support staff
    4. Cost savings for next year and five years
    5. Upgraded technology and communication
  3. Ensure our transportation employees are not negatively impacted by any changes that are made in the system.
    1. Employees who move to Durham will receive a pay increase/bonus
    2. Increase amount of transportation staff
      1. Reduce fatigue
      2. Eliminate the need for non-drivers to drive
      3. Enhance communication
    3. Enhance training and organizational support
    4. Provide several employees who are close to retirement with the option to stay on the district payroll
    5. Priority to hire into the district in other positions

A cost comparison for continuing transportation in-house compared to contracting with Durham is below:

Number of Years USD 385 retains at 5-hour guarantee USD 385 retains at 4-hour guarantee     Durham School Services at 4-hour guarantee Addtl. Info.
1 year $1.98 million $1.87 million $1.76 million

- Both proposals include adding 5 buses to district in 1 year
- These enhancements are based on historical usage and will vary depending on actual number of routes & trips.

5 years $10.3 million $9.72 million $9.38 million - Both proposals include adding 14 buses to district in 5 years
- These enhancements are based on historical usage and will vary depending on actual number of routes & trips.

With contracting transportation with Durham, the district will save over $100,000 next year and over $350,000 in five years.

Here are answers to some of our Frequently Asked Questions:

  • It is possible to get back into the transportation business if this doesn’t work out.
  • We retain control. Andover will still decide:
    • Fee structure for transportation
    • Number of routes we offer
    • If we want to bus students under 2.5 miles from school
    • Number of activity trips
    • Number & length of bus routes
  • The buses will still say “Andover Public Schools” on the side.
  • We encourage the company to hire our current employees.
  • Employees could see a raise in pay & enhanced access to benefits.
  • Transportation services will still be housed at current location on Andover Rd.

With contracting transportation services, we will be able to significantly enhance services to the district, maintain fiscal responsibility now and in the future and manage costs without hurting employees. If you have any questions about this process or haven’t found an answer to any of your transportation questions, please contact the District Office at 316-218-4660.