Trinity bus contract figures released

Transportation companies to earn more than $27M over nine years

April 30, 2014
Students walk to their buses at Trinity High School. After a lengthy dispute that ended up in Washington County Court, the school district has agreed to a long-term transportation contract. - Katie Roupe / Observer-Reporter Order a Print

The contracts awarded by Trinity Area School District to GG&C and Schweinebraten bus companies Tuesday will earn the transportation companies approximately $27.1 million combined over nine years.

GG&C will provide school bus service for 22 daily runs, along with special education and extracurricular transportation.

The daily runs will cost about $10.5 million over the life of the contract, while special education will cost the district more than $1 million a year, according to Director of Fiscal Services David Roussos (a total of about $9.8 million) and band, athletics, field trips and other extracurricular trips will account for at least $150,000 annually (approximately $1.4 million over nine years).

A safeguard included in the contract for GG&C calls for the district to pay the company $9,000 for any daily runs that are eliminated during the first year of the contract. Roussos said the district would still recoup savings because each run costs approximately $52,000 annually.

The exact figures for Schweinebraten were not provided, but based on the company’s transportation bid last year, it is estimated to earn about $5.3 million for 11 daily runs.

Roussos said the contracts include an increase of about 7.2 percent over the contracts’ length, compared to a 3 percent annual increase in the last transportation contract.

He said those transportation numbers are subject to changes as the cost of transportation – one of the district’s biggest expenses – continues to increase, especially for special education, as financial aid for school districts declines.

The school district plans to budget about $3 million for the 2014-15 school year for transportation.

Karen Mansfield is an award-winning journalist and mom of five who has been a staff writer for the Observer-Reporter since 1988. She enjoys reading, the Pittsburgh Steelers, a good glass of wine and nice people.

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