New bus contract in place for Region 16

REGION 16 — The Region 16 Board of Education and All-Star Transportation have agreed to terms on a new five-year busing contract.

The school board, which oversees schools in Beacon Falls and Prospect, approved the contract last week. The contract runs from July 1, 2017 through June 30 2022. All-Star Transportation is the current busing company for the district.

Director of Finance and Business Operations Pamela Mangini said the district budgeted about $1.6 million for in-district busing this school year, which doesn’t include busing for special education students that are placed out of the district. On average, she said, the new contract increases the district’s costs about 4 percent each year.

The increase is offset in the first year by an $80,000 credit the district will get for selling the buses to All-Star Transportation, Mangini said. The district currently owns the buses.

The increase in the first year after the credit is about $15,000, she said.

The contract doesn’t have an overall bottom-line cost. Rather, it spells out the cost for each type of bus used, and the cost depends on how many buses are needed. For instance, each “Type I” bus, the most-widely used bus, cost $301.80 this school year. The cost for a “Type I” bus is going up to $319.90 in 2017-18 and rises every year to $367 in 2021-22.

Under the new contract, the cost for a bus for a field trip or to take a sports team to a road game is $2.60 per mile and $27 per hour waiting with a minimum charge of $115 in 2017-18. Those costs increase to $2.80 per mile, $31 per hour waiting and a minimum charge of $125 over the life of the deal.