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November 12, 2013  |   Comments (5)   |   Post a comment

NYC: New school bus contracts to save $210 million

By Thomas McMahon

New York City officials say that new busing contracts that were opened for public bid last spring will save an estimated $210 million over the next five years.Photo by Pavel Horak

New York City officials say that new busing contracts that were opened for public bid last spring will save an estimated $210 million over the next five years.
Photo by Pavel Horak

NEW YORK — School busing contracts that were opened up for public bid last spring and awarded in May will save the city an estimated $210 million over the next five years, the New York City mayor and education chancellor said on Monday.

The savings is in addition to the $100 million saved from bids awarded last winter and the $95 million saved from pre-kindergarten contracts that were publicly bid in 2011.

But the contract bids were not without opposition. Early this year, New York City’s biggest school bus driver union went on strike for more than a month, calling for the continuation of job protections, but Mayor Michael Bloomberg maintained that the city was "not legally allowed to provide” those job protections.

The busing contracts had not been open to public bid since 1979. From that year to 2011, when the city put out its bid for pre-kindergarten contracts, the cost for busing skyrocketed from $71 million to $1.1 billion per year.

“When we released the bids for new bus contracts, we broke a three-decade stranglehold that exploited taxpayers and took money out of the classroom, where it belongs,” Bloomberg said on Monday. “The bids we received surpassed our savings estimates and give us more money to invest in ensuring New York City schoolchildren are receiving the best education possible.”

The mayor also announced plans to place the expiring contracts for an additional 4,100 bus routes up for public bidding. These routes serve about 39,000 students with disabilities and 96,000 general-education students. City officials expect the public bidding to save hundreds of millions of dollars.

“We are continuing our effort to find savings by bidding out new bus contracts, and our preliminary review of the new bus bids released in April show an estimated savings of $210 million over five years,” said Dennis Walcott, chancellor of the New York City Department of Education. “This is our third request for bids since 2011, when we said that through a robust competitive bidding process we would anticipate savings while maintaining the highest standards for safe and dependable yellow bus service for our students.”

In total, the Department of Education has contracts that cover the school year for 7,700 bus routes that serve 152,000 students, 54,000 of whom have disabilities and require special transportation services, plus about 1,650 routes that run during the summer only.

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Read more about: cutting costs, New York

You will not thrive or prevail on other peoples misery. Bloomberg lovers, kharma is a u knowhat! Lets c how u feel when hard times comes knocking @ ur door. Sounds to me like ur bias as well. Ignorance and stupidity go hand in hand nd before u leave this earth ull know exactly what it feels like when someone turns a deaf ear to ur plight, ur a jerk, tommy yokastupid!

booberg    |    Nov 22, 2013 07:14 AM

Bloomberg is an insensitive pompous snob! Bias and prejudice against thw working class!

booberg    |    Nov 20, 2013 04:15 AM

This makes great sense ,unions have been to blame in these conflict with their out of the roof demands. The big winners are the children and the tax payers.....Now that your all out of jobs, You will have something to cry about!!! THANK YOU MR BLOOMBERG WE LOVE YOU.

tommy yokamen    |    Nov 18, 2013 05:39 PM

Just because Bloomberg "says" there have been a certain amount of savings doesn't mean there actually has been... Did he remember to factor in all the money the city lost on taxi cab rides and metro fares during the strike? Did he factor in the safety issue when hiring low paid drivers with little to no experience? I think his motives are questionable in wanting to bid out these contracts without the EPP that has protected the blue collar workers for so many years. Now these workers are facing not only being laid off this December but even worse loosing their pensions which are not government funded, since they are funded by the membership but if the union is destroyed which is Bloombergs intention there is no way to fund their pensions and will leave responsible workers that depended on these pensions out in the cold! How DISGRACEFUL! Now is the time for Deblasio to step up to the plate and help these blue collar workers- wasn't his mayoral campaign focused on helping the working class? Well this is the time to put his promises into action. When he needed their votes he was quick in condemning Bloomberg during the strike on how he was treating these workers, yet now he says it premature to comment, really?! Not only are these workers facing being laid off, but even worse they face loosing their pensions and Deblasio says its too premature to comment? Is he waiting to comment on the issue after they loose their jobs? Maybe they should have voted for him after he lost the mayoral race! Things that make you go hmmmm....! Politics... pssss...

sammy    |    Nov 14, 2013 10:29 AM

They have tried this in Canada. In every instance the cost of busing actually ended up going through the roof.

k    |    Nov 13, 2013 07:05 AM

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