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Andover Public Schools to negotiate contract with new transportation company

Posted Date: 02/15/2023

The Andover Board of Education voted Monday evening to enter into contract negotiations to change transportation providers beginning in the 2023-24 school year. If negotiations are successful, our new transportation provider will be First Student.

With the expiration of our current transportation contract upcoming this summer, Andover Public Schools accepted Requests for Proposals from transportation companies. These RFPs were due in January. A committee consisting of district-level administrators, building-level administrators and a representative from the Board of Education conducted interviews with two finalist companies in January. They recommended the Board pursue a contract with First Student. We are confident that First Student will provide excellent transportation services to our families, schools and community.

Below are some questions and answers regarding transportation services, provided that contract negotiations are successful. If you have a question that isn’t answered below, please email us at and we’ll get back to you.

Q. What factors did the district consider when selecting a transportation provider? 
Factors involved in the decision included:

  • A robust recruiting and hiring plan for bus drivers and other employees.
  • Competitive compensation and benefits for staff.
  • Fleet enhancement, including the addition of new vehicles with air conditioning.
  • Purchase of the remaining Andover Public Schools bus fleet at a cost of $125,205.

Q. What changes can we expect for the current school year?
A contract with First Student would not affect transportation during the 2022-23 school year. The new contract would go into effect July 1.

Q. Will my child’s bus route change?
Routes will be determined in early August, as they always have been. Routes routinely vary based on ridership and other factors.

Q. Does First Student have an app for tracking buses?
Yes, First Student has an app called FirstView, which is similar to what parents have used this year and in the past. We will communicate more about how to download and use that app in the future.

Q. Will bus fees change?
This is yet to be determined; however, there will likely be a change to the fee structure.  All fees for 2023-24 will be presented to the Board in March for discussion. The district’s current cost of transporting each student who lives less than 2.5 miles from their school is approximately $500 per year.

Q. Will the quality of buses change? 
Yes. First Student plans to deploy 24 new buses with air conditioning in the 2023-24 school year. 

Q. What will happen to bus drivers?
Current transportation employees will have the opportunity to interview for jobs with First Student. Transportation employees are valued members of our school community, and we believe they will be pleased with the compensation and benefits package offered by First Student.

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