Trinity Area renews school bus contract
By Jason Cato
Published: Saturday, Aug. 24, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
Familiar yellow buses will pick up Trinity Area students for the first day of school on Wednesday.
School board members this month approved a deal to extend school bus contracts with GG&C and Schweinebraten, the Washington-based bus companies that have served the district for decades. GG&C last year sued the district in Washington County Common Pleas Court to prevent its board from signing a contract with another company.
“I think what the school board did was acknowledge there is a contract,” Richard Kelly, a Montgomery County lawyer representing GG&C, said on Friday.
That company, owned by John Lenzner, has transported Trinity students through no-bid contracts since 1967. State law does not require public bids for bus contracts.
Superintendent Paul Kasunich and School Board President Jennifer Morgan could not be reached for comment.
GG&C handles 22 of the district's routes. Schweinebraten handles 11. Their contracts expired on June 30.
Under the arrangements, both companies will provide the same services for the 2013-14 school year as they did under the 2012-13 contracts, Kelly said. He did not know how much the companies were paid last year.
Trinity paid the two companies $11.6 million from 2007 to 2012.
GG&C earned more than $8.2 million for daily bus routes plus extracurricular activities, state records show. Schweinebraten collected nearly $3.4 million during the same period for bus routes and similar services.
School board members voted 5-3 with one abstention in April to award First Student Inc., based in Cincinnati, a five-year contract worth $8.86 million.
GG&C originally submitted a five-year bid that amounted to $9.1 million. Three post-deadline clarifications resulted in a bid of $8.7 million for all daily routes, not including extracurriculars.
In March, GG&C and Schweinebraten offered to continue serving the school district this academic year should the lawsuit cause an impasse, Kelly said. The companies transported more than 100 students over the summer, he said, and have helped the district map routes for this year.
Kelly said the bus companies hope the coming year will offer a chance to further negotiate with the district.
“We've made proposals,” he said. “Candidly, I think the differences between the two sides isn't all that great.”
Jason Cato is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7936 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Truck crash causes fracking water, diesel spill into Chartiers Creek
- Investigators: Plane ‘wobbling’ before Washington County crash