School Bus Run Situation Toledo Print E-mail
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Thursday, 26 September 2013 00:00

September 23, 2013
The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports (MoEYS) wishes to clarify the situation with respect to some School Bus Operators in Toledo who have expressed dissatisfaction with payment or non-payment for runs conducted during the first few weeks of school.

During the summer, the MoEYS reviewed the school bus routes in Toledo (and elsewhere) and conducted an audit of the miles for the routes with a view to improving efficiency and effecting savings. As a result of this review of routes resulting in some modification to some routes and the accompanying audit of mileage for the routes, the value of some of the bus run contracts were revised downward. The intention as well was to revise the current method of calculating payments to one based on actual operating costs as the current method has been in place for a long while and it is unclear on what basis it was devised.

The contractors affected by the downward revision expressed their dissatisfaction by refusing to sign the contracts. In a meeting held with school bus operators and MoEYS officials on September 7, 2013 at Julian Cho Technical High School in Toledo, the MoEYS officials explained that they were in the process of devising a new method for calculating payments that were based on operating costs with a mark up for the contractor. It was further explained by MoEYS officials, that if agreed, the new method of calculating payments would be effected by the month of October, 2013 but retroactive to start dates of existing contracts. The contractors were asked in the meantime to sign the existing contracts on the premise that any adjustments as a result of the revised method of calculating payments would be retroactive after the new payment method comes into effect. The contractors accepted in principle the proposed new method of calculating contract values and agreed to sign existing contracts (even those that had been revised downward due to revision of routes and mileage audit). Additionally, the contractors also agreed to submit data on costs of operating their buses which would feed into the revised system for calculating bus run contract values. The MoEYS is currently awaiting submissions in this regard. The MoEYS also agreed to do another audit of the mileage of the runs to satisfy those who were dissatisfied with the mileage as determined by previous audit. Two officers from the MoEYS are in Toledo today and tomorrow, September 23-24, 2013 to do this reassessment.

The newly signed contracts were received on Monday, September 16, 2013 and were signed on September 17, 2013. All contractors were paid by Friday, September 20, 2013 except for ten (10) new contractors whose payment information had to go through the process of being entered into the system for the first time. These only remaining ten (10) contractors were paid effective today, Monday, September 23, 2013. The MoEYS is committed to working with all concerned in ensuring a system which is efficient and fair to all concerned.