Evergreen school bus contract finalised
The State Government has fulfilled its commitment to provide a new contract framework for school bus service operators with the completion of negotiations between the Public Transport Authority (PTA) and BusWA School Bus Division, Transport Minister Troy Buswell said today.
The Government wanted to provide fairer and simpler contractual arrangements for the Orange School Bus industry, meaning greater certainty for operators and families, particularly in rural communities.
“In April last year I asked the Public Transport Authority to work with BusWA on delivering the State’s long-term commitment of maintaining the traditional orange school bus industry by introducing an evergreen contract for operators,” Mr Buswell said.
“The evergreen contract will allow existing bus operators to continue their contract indefinitely, subject to an ongoing need for the service and the contractor meeting a number of key performance indicators.”
All orange school buses are operated by private contractors.
In 2011-12, the State Government spent $103.1million on the school bus program.
Features of the evergreen contract include
- contract terms will ‘roll over’ every five years provided performance standards are maintained and subject to the on-going need for the service
a new Performance Standards Regime that identifies key performance indicators to ensure contractor compliance and performance
a revised service charge calculation model that ensures fair remuneration to contractors and reducing the administrative burdens associated with the previous contract
revised indexation methodologies that maintain cost reflectivity by aligning to relevant Consumer Price Index elements or other appropriate benchmarking indices
a new five-yearly review process that allows Government to introduce changes to the contract, ensuring it evolves in response to trends or factors that fall outside price indexation, simplification of contract clauses and schedules to facilitate contractor understanding.
It is expected all existing Composite Rate Model contracts will transition to the new evergreen school bus contract from July 1, 2013.
“The development of the evergreen contract represents a significant milestone in what is a fairly unique partnership between Government and school bus operators in providing essential services to the community,” the Minister said.
“It is important service providers are not only fairly remunerated for services but also feel they have been heard and this contract has been tailored to suit the unique nature of the industry.
“This Government has listened to school bus contractors and I am confident this new contract treats many of the concerns the contractors have discussed with me, over the years.”
Liberal National Government is delivering on its commitment to provide fairer and simpler contractual arrangements for the Orange School Bus industry, meaning greater certainty for operators and families, particularly in rural communities
Network of 825 orange school buses servicing schools and special education facilities across the State
Each school day 28,800 students access these services to get to/from school