BREAKING: City of Providence to Issue RFP for New School Bus Company UPDATED LIVE VIDEO

Thursday, October 11, 2018


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Photo: GoLocalProv

The City of Providence is going to issue a new request-for-proposals (RFP) for a school bus operator, in light of the protracted strike by bus drivers against the city's present bus company, First Student, GoLocal reported on Wednesday afternoon. On Wednesday night the Providence School Committee voted to issue new requests for proposals. 

GoLocal learned that the School Committee move comes after threatened legal action against the city. The school bus strike by the drivers, represented by the Teamsters Local 251, enters its third week on Thursday. 

GoLocal was first to report last week that Providence School Board Chairman Nick Hemond confirmed that the committee will take up a review of the transportation contracts with First Student on Wednesday at the Scool Committee meeting..

The new RFP process is will now be discussed at tonight's School Board meeting. 

Latest in Labor Dispute

It is unclear how the new RFP -- or its time frame -- will impact the current bus strike. 

On Wednesday, the ACLU of Rhode Island, along with two other civil rights organizations on Wednesday announced three separate legal steps with R.I. Department of Education (RIDE) on behalf of students with disabilities who are caught up in the ongoing Providence school bus strike. 

The complaints allege that the failure of the school district to honor its responsibility under the students’ Individual Education Plans (IEPs) to provide transportation to and from school violates federal and state laws protecting the students’ rights.

See that video HERE

First Student Responds

"First Student shares Mayor Elorza's desire to see a swift resolution to the strike. We have been in touch with the Teamsters leadership this afternoon and indicated our willingness to continue the negotiation session that began yesterday. At this point, First Student is awaiting a response from the Teamsters leadership," said First Student spokesperson Frank McMahon in a statement late Wednesday afternoon. 

School Committee Approval for New RFP

Wednesday night, the Providence School Committee moved forward with the request for approval of new agreements to provide transportation services. Presently, the existing contract with First Student has expired and the extension has yet to receive all necessary approvals. Over the past three years -- 2015 to 2017, First Student has been paid in excess of $30 million.

Updated 5:35 pm This story was first published 10/10/18 1:34 PM


Related Slideshow: School Bus Strike in Providence - September 2018


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