By MICHAEL KRANSZ
Capital News Service
LANSING — The number of Michigan school districts contracting out at least a part of their transportation services increased 150 percent from 2010 to 2014, according to a think tank survey. The survey by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy in Midland recorded 78 school districts opting for some privatized transportation services during that time, in addition to 53 already contracting out. There are about 540 districts in the state, according to the Department of Education. And while some districts are contracting out only a portion of the service, such as employment, most are privatizing their whole bus operation, said James Hohman, assistant director of fiscal policy at the center. Michigan School Business Officials Associate Executive Director Scott Little said the switch to privatized transportation services took off shortly after the Great Recession began in late 2007, largely as an effort to recoup money lost from declining student populations and state funding.
By Katie Winkler
Clinton County Chatter staff reporter
ST. JOHNS — During the last St. Johns Board of Education meeting on Oct. 26, St Johns Public Schools Director of Business and Finance Kelly Corbett brought forward a recommendation to purchase two new buses, sell three old ones and begin a yearly replacement cycle. Recommendations must be brought to the Board of Education three times before they can take action.
Capital Area Transportation Authority continues its efforts in redeveloping its No. 1 bus route to the Bus Rapid Transit, which will be expected to start around 2016. Plans have been slowed for about 3 months because it is in an environmental assessment phase, which calls for additional studies and requires public hearings. The route runs from Meridian Mall in Okemos to the Michigan Capitol in Lansing. The changes will include an addition of lanes for buses only.
By Kara Albrecht
Old Town Lansing Times Staff Writer
LANSING, MI. – The Lansing School District joined the Ingham Intermediate School District’s General Education Pupil Transportation Consortium with a unanimous 7-0 roll call vote on Oct. 4, 2012. Lansing School District is ninth out of 12 districts to join the consortium. Three school districts already use it, and East Lansing is one of them.
By WEI YU
Capital News Service
LANSING – Americans took 10.4 billion trips on public transportation in 2011, 2.3 percent more than the previous year — an upward trend in Michigan as well, the American Public Transportation Association reports. The association said total bus ridership increased in most of Michigan’s primary cities last year. However, Sandy Lovell, an accountant at the Office of Passenger Transportation in the Department of Transportation, said ridership in Detroit decreased in 2011. Except for Detroit, six primary Michigan cities experienced increased ridership: 5.7 percent in Ann Arbor, 6.4 percent in Bay City, 5.8 percent in Lansing, 3.4 percent in Monroe, 10.3 percent in Muskegon Heights and 9.7 percent in Port Huron. The pattern is continuing this year.
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.