Jump to content

Attention: In order to reply to messages, create topics, have access to other features of the community you must sign up for an account.
Sign in to follow this  
Harry

Student Transportation Forum

Rate this topic

Recommended Posts

Welcome to the student transportation forum.  This forum was created from a request. The idea received positive support from the forum staff and members so here it is.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Working formally with the NYDOE OPT directly as an IT consultant I can contribute on the political end if anyone has any questions on how the dispatching process works or how it works with contracts awarded to private companies to the best of my ability. Keep in mind some is sensitive info I cannot divulge as far as actual student info please do not ask, but I'll be more than happy to discuss otherwise. This may benefit parents who may occasionally visit the forums as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Realizm I'd love to know the reality of a small company being to win a bid for any sort of NYCDOE transportation?  Can someone who planned on buying 1-4 buses bid and actually be awarded any sort of contract?  I'm wondering because I've read a lot of RFP's for District transportation and it all seems to come down to "qualified candidates," many RFP's even stated part of the qualifying process is an inspection of the potential contractors yard an equipment.

 

I'm wondering how easy it is to get a NYCDOE contract because I've seen an increase in "mom & pop bus inc" operating around the city, even more so last school year.

 

How does the bid work?  Do you bid on particular routes?

 

Are there an equipment requirements (for example age requirements, like buses can't be more than 10 years old, etc.)?

Edited by Burrstone

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Realizm I'd love to know the reality of a small company being to win a bid for any sort of NYCDOE transportation?  Can someone who planned on buying 1-4 buses bid and actually be awarded any sort of contract?  I'm wondering because I've read a lot of RFP's for District transportation and it all seems to come down to "qualified candidates," many RFP's even stated part of the qualifying process is an inspection of the potential contractors yard an equipment.

 

I'm wondering how easy it is to get a NYCDOE contract because I've seen an increase in "mom & pop bus inc" operating around the city, even more so last school year.

 

How does the bid work?  Do you bid on particular routes?

 

Are there an equipment requirements (for example age requirements, like buses can't be more than 10 years old, etc.)?

 

A prospective contractor has to make sure that all drivers are CDL certified drivers with S and P endorsements with clean driver and criminal records (can slide off simple misdemeanors in the 13 county background check but *not* felonies thats a no no), and when bidding for routes that they have an adequate fleet capable of delivering the necessary headways to for timely pick ups or drop offs. Bus depots maintained by contractors must be sufficient and pass stringent requirements.

 

Matrons must also be subject to the same process albeit not required to have CDL training. They must be AHA CPR certified and American Red Cross certified.

 

The buses must be compliant with OSHA, NYDOH, NYSED, FDNY, NYDOT,  and issued NYDOE special requirements and codes if I'm correct and subject passing of prior inspection of bus fleets and depot by NYCDOE OPT (Office Of Pupil Transportation)  officials. They will have to report to NYDOE OPT training classes, and pass road tests issued by the NYSED, mandatory, to complete the qualification process. All prospective bus drivers and matrons are subject to drug screening as well.

 

Education requirements are HS diploma or equivalent. They must also provide three reference letters.

 

==========================================================================================

 

Vehicle requirements;

 

1) S Type A or B FMVSS Type A or B with a Minimum Passenger Seating Capacity of  20.
 
2) FMVSS Type A or B Flex Vehicle (track seating & flat floor) with lift with seating capacity for up to 20 passengers or at least 6 wheelchair securement positions with the capability to convert to any appropriate mix of passenger seats and wheelchair positions between those extremes as required; however, all routes awarded in this item will have at least one non-ambulatory rider.
 
3) FMVSS Type C or D FMVSS Type C or D with dual doors and a minimum passenger seating capacity of 35.
 
4) FMVSS Type C or D Flex Vehicle (track seating & flat floor) with lift and with seating capacity for up to 35 passengers or at least 10 wheelchair securement positions with the capability to convert to any appropriate mix of passenger seats and wheelchair positions between those extremes as required by the route; however, all routes awarded in this item will have at least one non-ambulatory rider.
 
All of these bus fleet types MUST be equipped with seat belts in working order, proper HVAC, emergency exits, first aid kits, audible backup alarm systems behind real axles, GPS in many cases and others.

 

=========================================================================================

 

The bus company dispatchers and supervisors must be trained (mandatory) as well for dispatching software systems supplied by the NYDOE. Also accident reporting systems. Even as with school age busing its the OPT dispatchers that does the work while with pre-school its the bus companies that does the dispatching. It makes no sense I know. Ask Dennis Walcott I have no idea why.

 

Once the contract is in order if any violations occur (injuries, road violations, structural violations, etc) they are given 48 hours to have the bus in for inspection, then ordered to repair the structural violations. If the buses are continuously late (remember the Professional Charter fiasco?) the bus company is in trouble. If they don't comply and resolve the violations promptly NYDOE OPT (Office Of Pupil Transportation) officials have the jurisdiction to oppose fines directly as per City Hall (No NYPD or DMV intervention required) which can easily be into thousands of dollars, in fact I've seen OPT officials put companies out of business.

 

If the contractor (i.e private bus company) complies with these requirements they are awarded bids to serve by community district sector and the routes within it. 

 

The NYDOE is as strict and heavy with rules and regulations as the (MTA) . However, the difference is here that the OPT is not a public benefits corporation but a straight division of a city agency. 

Edited by realizm
  • Upvote 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the wealth of information!

 

So do companies bid on particular routes?  How often do bids come up?

 

You wouldn't have access to past RFP's (just the RFP's, not asking for the results or anything) would you?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Companies bid for particular zones that corresponds with the associated community districts, not routes. Then the routes are created by the dispatchers. 


Think of postal zones..... The OPT has it's own system of zones and this is distributed among contractors certified for service.

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Does the company know he's dropping off his kids first?  

 

The company I worked for (Nassau County, LI) the driver had to p/u the students in the order the district gave but could drop them off in any order they wanted, usually it would work in reverse of the morning but sometimes the driver would alter the PM route to get done closer to the next school...

 

 

Companies bid for particular zones that corresponds with the associated community districts, not routes. Then the routes are created by the dispatchers. 


Think of postal zones..... The OPT has it's own system of zones and this is distributed among contractors certified for service.

 

Is there a way to get or subcontract any routes if you have one or two buses?  I'm really interested in getting started with one or two buses, I see mini van's all over the city with names of companies I've never heard of before, like I saw 168th st transportation (or something like that), these companies can't be that big can they?

Edited by Burrstone

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No I'm afraid that's not possible Burrstone. You may have to start through an existing contractor. 


The thing is you may be dealing with alot of competitors that will make it very difficult for you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yea, I just don't understand what is up with these small ass companies. lol  I could make a lot more money doing school and field trips if I bought a bus, that is if anyone hired me for those trips. lol  I don't have the time or the energy for that though...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

The company I worked for (Nassau County, LI) the driver had to p/u the students in the order the district gave but could drop them off in any order they wanted, usually it would work in reverse of the morning but sometimes the driver would alter the PM route to get done closer to the next school...

 

 

 

Interesting when I was in school (in two different School Districts)  the Bus companies had to follow the routes how the school districts wrote them. The route order was usually the same in the afternoon as the morning, there were only a few that weren't the same in the afternoon as the morning. The bus route I took the last year I was in elementary school was run in reverse order, the bus route on the next block was run in reverse order as well, but that was because that route was on the same block as the school.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Right now I'm in 6th grade, and I saw some 7th graders using the same bus stop as me, using a green one, so I freaked out. I then learned that 7th-12th grade full fare Metrocards are green, which got me wondering: how do you tell the difference between a full fare and a half fare.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Right now I'm in 6th grade, and I saw some 7th graders using the same bus stop as me, using a green one, so I freaked out. I then learned that 7th-12th grade full fare Metrocards are green, which got me wondering: how do you tell the difference between a full fare and a half fare.

It's written on the card and when the card is dipped, it will ask for the additional monies needed if it's a half-fare.  Back in the day if you were slick like me and had big hands you could cover the part that showed it was a half-fare because they were paper student passes that didn't have to be dipped. The trick worked 9 times out of 10. Only occasionally would a B/O with half of a brain ask me to display the entire pass, and then I would have to pay the $0.75 (at the time) or get off and wait for the next bus and see if I could get another sucker.  Most of them didn't care and were too lazy to look.  I would save the money and see how much I could put away. At the time it was $1.50 a day but still not bad if you do it for months at a time.  Nice little pocket change for snacks, etc.  :D

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
You are commenting as a guest. If you have an account, please sign in.
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoticons maximum are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.