Contract Award for Dean Transportation
The Ingham Intermediate School District discussed their selection for a contractor for the general education pupil transportation during their monthly meeting on Tuesday night. A power point presentation was given by Helen McNamara discussing the winner, Dean Transportation. Dean was head and shoulders above the other two applicants (First Student and M.I.T.S.) for this award, in McNamara’s view.
Unlike those applicants, Dean Transportation,
“provided the whole package with training and benefits,” said McNamara. “The other (applicants) had the benefits as add-on costs,” she added.
McNamara was also impressed with Dean’s work in the community.
“They have a long history of working with the most fragile students… they have outstanding quality of services and customer responsiveness,” McNamara said.
McNamara said the contract would increase competitiveness and the economic benefits of that.
“The more vendors, the better the prices, single district bids wouldn’t have been as competitive,” said McNamara.
As of this meeting there are eight Lansing area districts on board. McNamara is confident others will join, ultimately.
“After budget cuts and deferred costs with the old fleets the districts have, they’ll realize their current plan is short term and non cost effective… they’ll opt-in (to this plan),” she believes.
This will be an educational benefit for students in these school districts as well. The districts will now have more money to provide a better learning environment through the purchases of things like books and computers, without having to purchase new buses. McNamara estimates a new bus costs $77,000.
Other board members only saw positives behind this selection, as well.
“I have no concerns, we have twenty-five years of history with these guys,” said board member David Robinson.
Parents of younger students need not worry if their kids are safe, under this contract. Under the Dean proposal a GPS tracking device will be included. Board President John Wolenberg was pleased with this component.
“It makes sure bus drivers are obeying the speed limit.” Wolenberg would add, “If parents wonder where little Johnny went…the device allows the parents to meet him at the nearest bus stop.”
The contract for Dean Transportation would ensure cost containment by taking advantage of economies of scale; establishment of routes, and the ISD (Ingham Intermediate School District) would act as a fiscal agent.
Board member Nancy Stanley liked the part of the route establishment in particular. She sees positives if in the future, it is decided; students from Mason and Holt districts for example, end up on the same bus.
“It makes no sense for buses to cross into other districts,” said Stanley. She would go on to say, “it is also cross-fertilization plus for the kids…I only see good things from this.”
Cost containment is a big reason for this choice. This consortium is said to be more cost effective. This agreement between the I.S.D. and Dean Transportation is a three year term ending on June 30, 2014. The individual district(s) may elect to out-source but must still abide to contract terms.