The first major bid for bus routes in more than 33 years garnered 67 requests from bus companies, clamoring for over 1,100 routes, according to the Department of Education (DOE).
Bidding for the contracts ended on Monday, February 11, almost a month into the citywide bus strike. The bids are worth approximately $1 billion over the next five years, according to the DOE.
The bidding process, implemented in 2011, resulted in projected savings of $95 million.
In December, the DOE issued a Request for Bid (RFB) for 1,110 special education bus route contracts, set to expire on June 30. The new contracts are expected to be in place by the start of the 2013 school year.
Drivers from Local 1181 began striking on January 16, fighting to ensure contracts have Employee Protection Provisions (EPP) that state drivers will retain runs, regardless of what company oversees the route.
According to published reports, several school bus companies are suing the city to remove EPP for senior workers from existing private bus contracts. The names of the companies have not been released.