HONOLULU — The Hawaii State Department of Education (DOE) announced on Tuesday that Roberts Hawaii Inc. and Ground Transport Inc. have been selected to transport students in Oahu for the 2014-15 school year.
The move is another step in the DOE’s overhaul of the state’s student transportation system, which it has dubbed the “Get on Board” initiative.
Part of the initiative involves restoring school bus service to areas in the state where it had been cut, and as SBF reported in October, bus service was to be restored to 200 students from four schools in Waipahu and Pearl City in November.
It was during this phase of the program that the use of Transfinder’s Routefinder Pro computerized software was used to optimize stop times and route directions in a portion of the service area.
Regarding the contracts with Roberts Hawaii and Ground Transport Inc. for bus service in Oahu, officials said they were awarded on Nov. 27 following a request for proposal (RFP) process that began in July. The RFP was divided into seven clusters and 305 school bus routes on the island of Oahu, with Roberts receiving 181 routes, and Ground the other 124.
In all, the combined award amount for the two companies was nearly $21 million for 2014-15. The RFP incorporated a completely revised contract performance management process that will result in more effective oversight of operations and transportation expenditures, according to the DOE.
"The reforms in the delivery of student transportation services are key contributors to enhancing the educational experiences of our students," said Raymond L’Heureux, assistant superintendent for the DOE’s Office of School Facilities and Support Services. "The RFP process is an example of how the DOE continues to focus on innovations and technologies that will allow us to deliver our services in the most efficient and effective manner possible."
The DOE’s school bus transportation system serves more than 35,000 students annually through 700 buses operated by 12 contractors on five islands: Kauai, Oahu, Maui, Molokai and Hawaii Island.