Longtime school bus operator lays off 75 employees

Murphy Bus Lines will no longer transport kids to the London District Catholic and Thames Valley board, a story in The Free Press says.

Steve Hull, the president of the Independent School Bus Operators Association, who commented on this blog earlier about fears independent operators would lose contracts, is quoted in the paper as saying, “The whole industry is in turmoil.”

A woman who deals with the request for proposal contract awarding process in the bus industry says the cost isn’t the only concern. She also said technical criteria are evaluated.

The contracts are for five years and Hull said smaller companies may be out of business by the time the next bidding process comes around.

Ravin Ltd. in Tillsonburg also let employees go after losing a bid to transport within Thames Valley.

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2 thoughts on “Longtime school bus operator lays off 75 employees

  1. Part of the problem with the “Technical Criteria” is the subjective manner in which they are evaluated. The School Bus Industry as a whole has an impeccable safety record to begin with. Companies such as Murphy and Ravin have been and are currently operating buses within this system and the Consortia and School Boards they have worked for continue to enjoy the wonderful safe service they provide. Suddenly due to this process companies that for decades have provided great service at a fair price have been expected to become experts at marketing to their EXISTING long term customers. Due to government requirements..their ONLY customers! Imagine showing up for work one day and being asked to explain what you do. Imagine that you are not an expert in creative writing as writing has nothing to do with your job…now imagine that a panel of individuals not familiar with your decades of wonderful dedicated service or your impeccable performance record for the company evaluates your submission. Because you are not a creative writer you are replaced by someone who is even though creative writing has NOTHING to do with your job and in no way impacts the company you work for.This is exactly what has happened here. This is a solution for a problem that does not exist. Interestingly under this system (which is to be “Open and Transparent”) the results of the RFP are NOT made public! This is indeed disturbing from a taxpayer’s perspective. As each round of the RFP’s occur moving forward, the incumbent service provider has a competitive advantage as they are the only ones with knowledge of the Technical Requirement expectations as well as the Price currently being paid. Good Luck to those interested in obtaining business! Furthermore as the RFP process serves to remove competitors from the equation the seller will dictate the price in the long term. Competition is a good thing. The RFP process is preventing it.

  2. @Steve Hull:
    I am not so sure if your statement about the “impeccable” safety record of school buses is quite accurate. Instances of unsafe school buses and/or poorly trained school bus driver incidents abound. With a simple key word search it is easy to find numerous examples of school bus accidents, tragic consequences, negligent culpability, lawsuits e.t.c. More importantly, one can also see the various measures certain jurisdictions are enacting to correct deficiencies and alleviate a whole range of actual and potential problems.
    Here is a checklist of requirements for School Bus Safety from the Minnesota State Patrol, Division of Minnesota Dept. of Public Safety.
    It was literally the first item that popped-up when researching your question about school bus safety “requirements.” Perhaps these requirements may be similar to requirements that are, or may be enacted by the Ontario government and to which if I understand correctly, you and your organization have stated opposition.
    How would you say these standards compare with what you are currently familiar?

    https://dps.mn.gov/divisions/msp/commercial-vehicles/Pages/school-bus-safety.aspx
    Model School Bus Driver Training Manual

    Model School Bus Driver Training Manual

    Appendix Section 1

    Minnesota School Bus Driver Evaluation Checklist
    Model Assessments For School Bus Driver Competencies
    Appendix A – School Bus Driver Evaluation Form
    Appendix B – Pre-trip Inspection Evaluation Form
    Appendix C – Brake Test Procedures
    Appendix D – Evaluator Certification
    Appendix E – Conduct and Special Needs Survey Requirements
    Survey One
    Survey One (Answers and Explanations)
    Survey Two
    Survey Two (Answers and Explanations)
    Survey Three
    Survey Three (Answers and Explanations)
    Appendix F – Certification of School Bus Driver 8 hours Bus Driver Training Option

    Appendix Section 2

    Medical Examination Report

    Appendix Section 3

    Current Dept. of Public Safety Rules and Minnesota State Law

    Appendix Section 4

    Resources

    Appendix Section 5

    Pre-employment Criminal Records Check Authorization

    School Bus Criminal Records Check Authorization
    Authorized Criminal history Check Companies

    Appendix Section 6

    School Bus Affidavit

    School Bus Inspection Manual

    Table of Contents

    Tires
    Exhaust
    Brakes
    Steering
    Chassis
    Eight-lamp
    Headlamps
    Indicator lamps
    Other required lamps
    Stop arm system
    School bus color
    Required lettering
    Body
    Mirrors
    Window glass
    Safety equipment
    First time inspection
    Type III buses
    Special mobility buses

    Forms

    Type III certification
    Pre-registration certificate
    First time school bus inspection
    First time school bus inspection – special needs

    Appendix A brakes, wheels, body, windows, lights

    Appendix D

    Minnesota minimum standards

    Inspection point system
    Wheelchair law
    Wheelchair rule
    School bus driver qualifications
    School bus driver license law
    Driver rules – operation of school buses

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