The Washington School District has renewed its contract with First Student for pupil transportation.
The school board approved the agreement at its meeting last week.
The contract calls for no increase in price for next year; a 1 percent increase the following year; and a 2 percent increase in year three.
The district agreed to increase the life of a bus from 10 years to 12 with an average age of the fleet at eight years, according to Shelley Kinder, district CFO.
“By increasing the life of the buses we could keep the costs down and surrounding school districts are already doing that,” Kinder told The Missourian.
The district will spend approximately $2 million on bus transportation next year. Of that amount, about $300,000 is reimbursed by the state. State reimbursement for busing has continued to drop.
Kinder said the district is “very satisfied” with the services of First Student, which transports about 2,200 students in kindergarten through high school.
The majority of students are transported on 60-passenger buses; however some larger and smaller buses also are utilized based on needs.
Kinder said in year three of the contract the district can negotiate new terms.
The bus company, formerly known as Laidlaw, was acquired in 2007 by FirstGroup, the parent company of First Student.
Laidlaw had been the bus provider for the Washington School District since 1992.