SAVANNAH, Ga. — A local school district is taking steps toward running its own transportation service instead of continuing to use a contractor.
Officials at the Savannah-Chatham County Public School System announced last week that they are working with their current provider, Reliant Transportation, to “review the requirements for transitioning to a district-run pupil transportation model.”
Savannah-Chatham awarded a two-year contract to Reliant, which is a subsidiary of MV Transportation, in April of last year. However, the contractor notified the school board last month that it wants to end its service for the district at the end of this school year.
According to the Savannah Morning News, there have been several points of contention between the district and the contractor since before the school year began.
With Reliant’s pending exit, Savannah-Chatham is looking at an “accelerated timeline” to bring bus service in-house.
“The district is committed to ensuring high quality transportation services and will ensure a seamless transition,” Savannah-Chatham officials said in an announcement. “The new configuration would phase out the use of an outside service provider and place the full control of pupil transportation with the school district.”
Officials added that Savannah-Chatham is “well positioned” to make the change. The district owns its fleet of 442 school buses, which will allow for full coverage of 370 school bus routes. The district also maintains three school bus parking lot locations and maintenance facilities.
Savannah-Chatham has now hired an interim transportation director and a fleet coordinator, and a staffing assessment is underway. Also, the district has its own routing personnel and is in the process of implementing a new routing software system.
Officials said that the district is “committed to the ongoing improvement of pupil transportation services with the number one goal of delivering a reliable, on-time and safe pupil transportation program.”