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Bus privatization proposals sought by district, three respond



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May 12, 2010 - Brandon Twp.- The school district received three proposals last week for privatization of bus service.

Superintendent Lorrie McMahon confirmed that three companies have submitted quotes for providing transportation in the district. These companies are:

First Student, Inc., based in Cincinnati. According to www.firststudentinc.com, the company is responsible for transporting 4 million students to and from school every day with a fleet of more than 60,000 school buses and 68,000 drivers.

One Button Services, also based in Cincinnati.

According to www.onebuttonservices.com, this new company was formed by assembling long existing service companies to bring together experienced facilities management professionals to cover all the operations of the non-educational budget of schools in the midwest. Student Transportation of America/Positive Connections, a New Jersey-based company.

According to the company website, www.sta-ips.com, more than 200 school boards across the United States and Canada use the company's services, delivered by drivers, dispatchers, maintenance technicians, terminal managers and others who are members of the communities in which they serve.

McMahon said details of the proposals offered by the companies are being analyzed to understand what the full costs will be.

"If we were to hire one, part of our contract would insist that their employees go through the same background check that our school employees currently do," McMahon said, adding that would include fingerprinting and a state level investigation of each employee.

The district is also considering privatization of custodial services, although those requests for proposal have not yet been returned.

Susan covers Brandon Township and Ortonville
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