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QUAKERTOWN, Pa. – The Quakertown Community School District is on the search for a new transportation vendor.

Wayne McCullough, executive director of the Pennsylvania Association of School Business Officials, gave an update Thursday night on the process to find a new vendor. The association helps public, private and charter school with business operations, including transportation.

Levy School Bus Co. of Trumbauersville, which has served Quakertown schools for more than 90 years, signed a two-year contract extension with the district in 2019. However, Levy notified the district that it could not fulfill the second year of the agreement due to COVID-19 and budget constraints.

To find a new vendor, a request for proposal process has been enacted and overseen by the district's transportation committee. Two proposals are under consideration — one from Levy and the other from First Student Inc., a national school bus company headquartered in Cincinnati.

At Thursday's school board meeting, McCullough said a five-year agreement is being sought and the vendors must include in their proposals a wide array of services, including training documents, intercom systems aboard buses, GPS, strobe lights atop buses, digital video recording systems and proper identification for drivers. One item that will be discussed is a penalty system when transportation schedules are not met.

McCullough strongly recommended that the district consider hiring a transportation coordinator to serve as a liaison between families and the vendor and to work with staff on programs that address behavior on buses.

A financial analysis is expected to be completed the week of March 15, McCullough said. A special board meeting for the transportation issue has been called for March 25 at 7 p.m.

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