Levittown School District officials are looking to save money on transportation costs by bringing six routes in-house, meaning those children would be taken to an from school on Levittown buses, instead of those of a private company.
The district operates its own fleet, which includes 48 large buses and 34 small buses. Of the district’s 94 morning and afternoon routes, 88 are handled by the district’s Transportation Department. District officials want to bring that to 100 percent.
By having those remaining six routes done in district, Levittown can save about $180,000 per year. That change would likely take effect beginning in the 2015-16 school year, but board members, at their meeting on Aug. 13, asked administrators to look into the possibility of making the switch this year.
At last week’s meeting, the board approved several transportation contracts, including one with Acme for those six routes. Superintendent Dr. Tonie McDonald said she would hold off on finalizing that contract until district officials decide if it would be feasible to make the switch this school year.
Board Trustee Michael Pappas suggested that even if the routes were moved in-house at the midway point of the school year, the district could see a savings of about $90,000.
Robert Howard, the district’s business manager, said that the yearly cost per route, if done by the Transportation Department, is $56,300. To pay a private company to do the same route, the annual cost is more than $86,000.
Howard said the estimated savings of about $180,000 per year factors in the extra drivers the district would need, and the maintenance that would be required to upkeep the buses.
For in-district transportation, companies typically charge Levittown per hour. Howard said that means the district is often paying for time it is not using.
Children attending any one of the district’s elementary or middle schools are eligible for transportation if they live at least three-quarters of a mile from their school. That limit doubles for high school students.