A new year means a new transportation company for the Tonawanda City School District, as the Board of Education approved a contract with Transpo on Tuesday night.
Transpo representative Robert Kirisits said the district will have a full complement of buses to use, and the routes already have been figured out. Kirisits, a Tonawanda alum, has experience working with the district, as he previously worked for Rainbow Transportation before We Care purchased the company.
“We’re excited to have another opportunity,” Kirisits said.
The board approved a one-year contract with Transpo for $598,760 for home-to-school service. In addition, the board approved separate contracts for sports and field trips for $54,000, and winter swim transportation for $7,100.
Last year, when Rainbow had the contract, Tonawanda spent $604,000 for home-to-school transportation.
One of the benefits district administrators are touting with Transpo is that it has hired several neighborhood drivers who know the streets.
“That’s where the problems come in; when the drivers are not familiar with the city,” Kirisits said.
The new Transpo company offers services the district has never had before.
Digital video cameras will be in all the buses, and the recordings can easily be placed on a drive to give to administrators. The cameras begin recording when the bus is started and go off five minutes after the vehicle is turned off.
Two Transpo employees will also serve as bus monitors on special-need vehicles. The district will provide its own employees to monitor other buses.
Several board members said they were pleased with the new company.
“I have confidence about (this) that I didn’t have last year,” said Vice President Jennifer Mysliwy.
In other news, the board also approved a proposal by the district’s foundation to sell memorial bricks for a wall to be placed near the new Clint Small Stadium.
The money raised from the brick sales will be used to fund scholarships for Tonawanda students after their graduation.