Pupil Transportation

Strike - Contractor Bus Strike Suggestions

In an effort to be of assistance to school districts that may be affected by a contractor bus strike, we have developed the following guidence for districts to be aware of as they plan on providing alternate transportation in the event of a strike.

One Month Emergency Contracts:

Section 305 (14)(b) of Education Law authorizes a board of education to award an emegency transportation contract, without competative bidding, for a period not to exceed one month. Such contracts may be awarded in the case of an emergency arising out of an accident or other unforseen occurrence, where a board of education must take immediate action which cannot await competative bidding. The purpose of this statutory provision is to give a board of education a one-month period in which to advertise for competitive bids for a contract to cover the remainder of the school year (if needed). Where possible, it is a good practice for the board of education, before awarding an emergency contract, to adopt a resolution declaring an emergency and setting forth the facts upon which the declaration is based. Transportation Form TC, as an emergecny contract, should be submitted to SED along with the Board declaration of the emergency.

Parent Contracts:

Commissioner’s Regulations Section 156.3 provides that a board of education may contract with parents to transport their own children. The parent's vehicle is not subject to a school bus inspection by the Department of Transportation. In addition, a parent may request an exemption from Article 19-A of Vehicle and Traffic Law. An exemption from Article 19-A may be granted for a person operating his or her own vehicle with a seating capacity of 10 or fewer adults, reimbursing parents at the Federal reimbursement rate External Link ICON or for reimbursing parents for two round trips to and from school each day, as long as the reimbursement reflects the actual cost of the parent transporting the student. The district may be reimbursed for the actual costs under State Transportation Aid. Transportation Form TC, as a parent contract, should be submitted to SED.

Assignment of Contract Form:
When existing transportation contracts are in jeopardy of not being fulfilled, an “Assignment of Contract Form” can be filed with our office.  The Assignment of Contract Form can be found on our website at the following link (http://www.p12.nysed.gov/schoolbus/contracts/pdf/assignment_of_contract.pdf).   You must submit this form to:  Office of Pupil Transportation, NYSED, Room 1075 EBA, Albany, NY 12234.  You may submit it via email to Heather Zogas: Heather.Zogas@.nysed.gov.

Please be advised that NO material changes can be made to the terms and conditions of these contracts without rebidding the contract.  If a vendor asks you to make any material changes to these contracts, you should contact our office immediately and plan to re-bid the contract. 

Additional Required Submission with your Assignment of Contract Form:  You should also submit a copy of any relevant documents, court orders or directives, signed by the court, documenting or evidencing the assignment of the contract to the new vendor with your assignment of contract form.

Suggestions: 

  • Status of Performance Bonds in your existing contracts?  If they exist, they may reduce the cost of any transition to new a transportation provider.
  • Is your district entitled to any damages under the previous contract?
  • Be sure to track final payments on invoices paid to former contractor to ensure that you receive proper credit for all payments made. 
  • Consult with your school district attorney before withholding payment on invoices due.

Districts should not assume that the assignee will renew the contract for following school year.  Therefore, affected school districts should begin the renewal process now, or contemplate re-bidding a new contract.

  • If re-bidding, SED recommends that affected districts begin this process as soon as possible.
  • If contemplating re-bidding the contracts, affected districts should consult with neighboring districts, or BOCES, to determine if they are interested in sharing services – since multiple districts in your region may be looking to re-bid new contracts at the same time.  Please contact SED if you need assistance. 
  • Get updated insurance binders from any assignee and/or new transportation contract provider.
  • Obtain new approvals from the Department of Motor Vehicles for bus drivers for any assignee and/or new transportation contract provider.
  • If the assignee and/or new transportation contract provider will be using a new terminal, affected districts should determine if there a cost impact for deadhead mileage (depends on the pricing methodology in the contract).
  • If any affected districts determine they need to re-bid the contract, they can use an emergency contract for one month.  Please contact SED with any questions on the emergency contract process. 

Other Information:   

  • Contract Costs:  We will use the assignment of contract form and other documentation you provide from the assignee to ensure that any costs associated with the contract under the assignee will be recognized as approved transportation cost and, therefore, eligible for State aid under Education Law §3602(6).  Therefore, please be sure to submit all required documentation.
  • Legal Expenses:  If districts have engaged legal counsel to work through the issues associated with a strike, we remind affected school districts that legal expenses are not aidable transportation expenses, per State Aid guidance at: https://stateaid.nysed.gov/trans/aidable_nonaidable_list.htm

Addendum: Information to submit to SED 

  1. The Assignment of Contract form.
    At the bottom of that form, please provide a reference to the contract asset sale that was conducted by the court. This should be the date filed and the court docket number, as shown in the first two columns of the sheet at: http://www.kccllc.net/metro/document/list/3710?nh=1;   Find the new contractor and confirm the specific contract.
  2. A copy of the front page of the court document that shows the assignment of contract; and the schedule 2.0.1 that shows the specific contract number that was assigned.
Last Updated: August 28, 2018