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.