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Roberts Hawaii, Ground Transport awarded school bus service contracts worth $21 million

The Hawaii State Department of Education announced today that Roberts Hawaii and Ground Transport, Inc., will provide bus service for Oahu schoolchildren in the 2014-2015 school year. 

At a cost of nearly $21 million, contracts were awarded on Nov. 27 following a request for proposal process that began in July, the DOE said in a news release. 

The contracts are among major reform efforts under way since December 2012 to meet recommendations by the State Office of the Auditor and the DOE’s transportation consultant, Management Partnership Services (MPS), to make fundamental changes to the bus procurement process, DOE said.

Roberts received 181 of Oahu’s 305 school bus routes, while Ground Transport will be responsible for 124 routes.

DOE said in a statement:

"The DOE’s bus transportation reform efforts, known collectively as the "Get on Board" program, is a multi-year, multi-phased effort to transform how the DOE delivers transportation services to its students. 

"The initiative resulted from a comprehensive study by MPS commissioned after 100 bus routes were eliminated in June 2012 due to rising contract costs and budget cuts. MPS determined that a fundamental overhaul of the DOE’s Student Transportation Services Branch was needed, including changes to contracting practice to encourage competitive pricing, clarify expectation and improve contract management."

The DOE’s school bus transportation system serves more than 35,000 students annually through 700 buses operated by 12 contractors on five islands: Kauai, Oahu, Maui, Molokai and Hawaii Island.

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