SAN FRANCISCO — The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) recently recognized a school transportation provider with its “Excellence in Motion” award.
The award honors people, projects, and organizations for exceptional contributions to San Francisco Bay Area transportation.
The MTC recognized the board of directors of West County Transportation Agency with its Excellence in Motion award for its vision, leadership, and dedication to forming and shepherding a unique school transportation cooperative.
West County Transportation Agency was formed as a joint powers agreement by the West Sonoma County Union High School District and seven of its feeder elementary school districts on July 1, 1988. The motivation to form this cooperative public agency came from two primary conditions. The state froze school transportation funding in the 1982-83 school year, making it more difficult for school districts to fund their transportation programs.
In addition, many of the small school districts did not have school transportation professionals and lacked the resources to provide mechanical assistance, substitute drivers, and driver training. Forming this cooperative agency allowed these school districts to focus on their educational priorities while creating a professional and cooperative school transportation organization. Through cooperation and economy of scale, member school districts have enjoyed the benefits of reduced costs and a higher level of service, according to West County Transportation Agency.
The agency also gradually took responsibility for special-education transportation, and in the 2001-02 school year took responsibility for all of this service.
Through the years, many more members joined the agency, swelling the ranks of membership to 17 school districts.
The agency’s mission has been to provide safe, cooperative, cost-effective, and child-centered school transportation service to its member school districts. It also provides vehicle maintenance service to other school districts, private schools, and municipal entities, field trips to non-member school districts, private schools, and youth-serving agencies, and occasional route service to other non-member entities.