The Rochester City School District Board of Education voted 6-1 Tuesday to approve a new, $11.4 million contract with Rochester Genesee Regional Transportation Authority, which will allow RGRTA to continue busing students in the 2015-16 school year.
School Board President Van White was the only board member who opposed the contract, which he said would cost RCSD about$10 million more than the district previously planned to spend on busing students.
However, with less than two months before the school year begins, board members said it was the best they could do in such a short period of time.
“The hope, and the optimism, behind the idea of taking calculated risk to open it back up, and to find someone who would come in with a lower bid, and provide equal services for less money, just really seems implausible,” said board member Mary Adams.
About 3,000 fewer students will transfer at the downtown RTS Transit Center, per the district’s new agreement with RGRTA. In addition, students from certain schools, including Wilson Magnet High school, and secondary charter schools, will take yellow buses, separately from other students.
The board had previously postponed its vote, due to the increase in cost, which will be an estimated 19 percent more than the district originally planned to spend on transporting students next school year.
RCSD also received a proposal from MV Transportation, earlier this week, which said the company would be willing to replace RGRTA, and take over busing students within the short time frame allotted. However, district officials said they were unsure the Dallas-based organization would have been able to adequately handle the work.
RCSD said it plans to seek additional funding from the state in order to pay for the increased cost of busing students.