Posted by Andrew Clampitt-Public Relations and Information Officer at 1/27/2017 4:00:00 PM
MCCSC Transportation Update
Like many school corporations across Indiana, MCCSC has been struggling with a persistent shortage of providing timely transportation services for our children. Often, 15-20 routes are unfilled each day. We have worked with custodians, maintenance, mechanics, and transportation staff to achieve their commercial drivers’ licenses (CDLs) licenses to enable us to cope with the shortfall. Unfortunately, many children are not able to get to school on time and many are home near 6:00 p.m. due to waiting for a bus.
While most drivers are employed directly by MCCSC, “contract drivers” currently drive 1/3 of the bus routes. Those contracts expire at the end of this school year and were recently put out to bid per state law. Auxilio, a fleet contractor, had the most responsive bid and will provide transportation services beginning next year. Current contractors will be offered positions and may be driving the same routes next school year.
1. Recently we heard that MCCSC will be using a company to drive contract routes. What does this mean for my children?
Most of the buses your children ride are owned by MCCSC. Children transported on MCCSC buses will not feel any change. About 1/3 of the routes are currently contract routes; these routes will be taken over by a company called Auxilio. Your children may have a different bus and driver next year. However, Auxilio has offered to hire your current driver and have the driver continue to drive your child’s route if it is available. If your child has been transported in a timely manner, your family should not feel a change. For those who have been subjected to long wait times, those wait times should improve or disappear.
2. Will my bus driver change?
Most of the MCCSC bus drivers will not change. MCCSC directly employs approximately 2/3 of all MCCSC drivers, while 1/3 are currently independent contractors. Fleet contractor Auxilio has offered to employ current “contract drivers,” so they should have the option of continuing to drive their current routes.
3. Is MCCSC saving money by using a fleet contractor as opposed to the current contract drivers?
When we discuss savings we mean the cost of the Auxilio contract versus the cost of the higher bids provided by the current contract drivers. This savings will be $3.4 million over 4 years. It does not mean we are going to lower costs in the Transportation Fund by $3.4 million over 4 years. The Auxilio bid will enable MCCSC to keep the total Transportation Fund expenditures going forward close to current expenditures and within our budgetary capabilities. Taking the higher bids would increase expenditures in the Transportation Fund by $3.4 million over 4 years and would be cost prohibitive. In addition, that number is based on a 31-route to 31-route comparison only. Additional routes will increase our savings to $4 million dollars over the life of the contract.