Cranston School Committee considers shift to private contractor for school busing

Source: Gregory Smith, Providence Journal, November 19, 2013

For nearly 50 years, according to the labor union that represents school bus drivers and mechanics, the city school system has been doing its own busing. But these days most Rhode Island school districts let a private contractor take the wheel. … The committee put out a request for proposals from contractors interested in doing the job. The only bidder was First Student, a national company that has contracts to bus public school students in Providence and a number of other communities as well as special education and parochial school students statewide. …

…So far, the union appears to be winning. Joseph Balducci, School Department chief financial officer, confirmed figures Monday underlying his preliminary analysis of the cost of keeping the busing in-house compared with a contract with First Student. Over five years the First Student proposal would cost about $1.8 million more….