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Bedford Schools Seek New Transportation Proposals

BEDFORD, N.Y. – The Bedford Central School District will soon be accepting requests for proposals (RFP) to find a new deal for its transportation services, said Mark Betz, assistant superintendent. The service currently used by the district is Chappaqua Transportation, which will not be renewing its current deal that is set to end in 2012.

Five years ago, during a similar process, it received four proposals from local companies, something Betz hopes will be more competitive this time around.

But the non-renewal of the five-year contract with Chappaqua Transportation does not mean the company will not try to put its hat in the ring, Betz said, but that the terms of the contract could be different or a different company could be chosen.

The district will hold a meeting Jan. 27 for anyone associated with potential RFP companies, along with those interested in the transportation selection process. At the meeting, a presentation will discuss three different scenarios for RFP applicants.

The first scenario on the table will be to run the services in its current operation, which is to handle 2/3 of the home-to-school service, while the district handles the other 1/3 from its own privately-owned fleet. The second option will be to provide the entire service, while also finding a location to store the entire fleet off school grounds. The third option is to assume full responsibility, like option two, only the district would lease out part of the Fox Lane campus to the private contractor, which would hold the smaller vehicles.

“I want only qualified contractors,” Betz said. “I don’t want contractors to come in here who are fly by nights or the kind that can’t run the kinds of training and safety programs required for the drivers, etcetera.”

To assure that the company will not be chosen solely on the price, the district is implementing a system that will rate the importance of certain qualities of the contractor, from financial statements to judging how drivers are trained.

“That makes the RFP process what it really is because in a bid process, all you’re looking at is who’s giving you the cheapest price under the assumption they can make the necessary specifications,” Betz said. “In an RFP process, you go through an elaborate evaluation.”

The district will begin reviewing the coming proposals on Feb. 14 and Betz said the selection process will take roughly two weeks.

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