Update on Regional Transportation Study to Improve Transportation Efficiency and Cost Effectiveness for Out-of-District Students: June 9, 2011

Superintendent Sandy Lewandowski welcomed the group to this informal time to follow up on two regional topics that had been discussed during the Superintendents’ Advisory meetings throughout the year: transportation and the Hennepin County Graduation Goal.

TRANSPORTATION

Sandy reviewed efforts to date regarding the regional transportation study and what has been learned calling attention to a document summarizing the status of the project. Learning includes:

  • Because this is a big paradigm shift, it takes a long time to understand at a regional level. A core group of transportation directors has come forward to say joint planning has viability. One-to-one meetings in the districts confirm that more time may be needed for the next level of staff.
  • There is recognition that the model will generate overall costs savings but there are many factors that contribute to the extent of the savings. Sharing routes to eliminate deadhead runs will yield savings as well as maximizing routes through bell time and calendar alignment.

The group was presented with three options for next steps.

  1. Participating districts would develop a memorandum of agreement and determine commitment parameters.
  2. Participating districts would be involved in completing an RFP process.
  3. Participating districts would identify their own representative to a regional design group that would now manage next steps.

Superintendents and their representatives each discussed how to proceed, given their internal discussions. Several advocated a phase-in or opt-in model that might not include all districts and all potential populations all years. Several also discussed the sub-regional savings they are already realizing by working with neighboring districts. It was concluded that another level of study (option 3 above) is necessary to know the actual savings by projecting actual routes. The following districts will participate in the design with 287 acting as the convener: Minneapolis, Hopkins, Anoka, Osseo, Robbinsdale, and Wayzata.

In attendance:

  • Dennis Carlson, Anoka-Hennepin School District
  • Karen Orcutt, Orono School District
  • Marsha Baisch, Eden Prairie Schools
  • Kim Riesgraf, Osseo Area Schools
  • John Schultz, Hopkins School District
  • Aldo Sicoli, Robbinsdale Area Schools
  • Steve Liss, Minneapolis Public Schools
  • Debra Bowers, St. Louis Park Public Schools
  • Dennis Peterson, Minnetonka Public Schools
  • Rie Gilsdorf, WMEP
  • Chace Anderson, Wayzata Public Schools
  • Sandy Lewandowski, Intermediate District 287
  • Jane Holmberg, Intermediate District 287

Update on Regional Transportation Study to Improve Transportation Efficiency and Cost Effectiveness for Out-of-District Students – April 27, 2011

This message is from the RFP Advisory Committee who participated in the 2nd RFP review and consideration work meeting on April 25th.

2ND RFP REVIEW AND CONSIDERATION WORK MEETING UPDATE

The Committee identified the best valued vendors for the Operational and Bus Contractor Entities whose proposals were responsive, responsible, and most advantageous for the Region.
The RFP Regional System Transportation System requirements, process, and outlined structure assumes:

  • Quality of service to students is, equal or improved, compared to current standards
  • Increase in training for bus drivers and bus paraprofessionals
  • Effective communication links with participating districts to affirm students and district needs are being met
  • Route sharing costs are transparent and fair
  • Cost savings for participating districts will have a level of stability
  • Opportunity for other subsets of student populations to expand cost savings
  • Start up costs are separated from ongoing costs
  • Biggest dollar savings will be realized if all district participate

A common template; the RFP Cost Comparison Template; has been developed to provide districts with an acceptable tool which is functional, easy to understand, and will gather measurable results.
REQUEST OF PARTICIPATING DISTRICTS
Individual districts are now being asked to complete the RFP Cost Comparison Template which will calculate hours and costs spent on the operational services for students traveling out of district as well as calculate the cost differential percentage between the RFP bus contractor rates and current district rates.
Michelle Axell is requesting that participating districts provide their information to her by May 4th for compilation of a regional total.

WHAT HENNEPIN COUNTY SUPERINTENDENTS SHOULD EXPECT

Key Internal Administration will:

  • Compare the RFP operational and bus contractor costs against actual costs to determine the cost impact to your district
  • Examine the Sample Regional Costing Structure document on how a district would share route costs in a regional system
  • Generate a working list of potential future economies of scale for your district if this system were to be realized. What future restructuring could increase efficiencies and decrease costs? Ideas:
    • Re-utilization or reduction of current buses (fleet)
    • School bell time adjustments
    • Higher accountability ( bus contract)
    • Determine any locally identified impacts that should still be addressed by the Committee

RFP Advisory Committee will:

  • Compile, share and make a final recommendation based on the regional cost impact total
  • Generate a working list of potential future economies of scale for a regional system if this system were to be realized. What future restructuring could increase efficiencies and decrease costs? Ideas:
    • School bell time adjustments with additional schools in the region
    • Increase utilization by participating districts
    • Increase number of participating districtsProvide responses to identified impacts that still need to be addressed
  • The final cost impact total for the Region will be communicated to the Superintendents by May 10th. 
HENNEPIN COUNTY SUPERINTENDENTS - DETERMINATION OF A REGIONAL ACTION

Information generated as a result of this RFP will be considered at the April 29th Superintendent meeting. A determination to proceed with regional action will conclude by May 27th, 2011.

NEXT STEPS – WITH A DETERMINATION OF A REGIONAL ACTION

A pre-award phase would be carried out prior to the signing of a contract. This step is to ensure that the chosen vendor(s) understand and will provide the service as desired, without any cost increases and with high customer satisfaction.

Operational services for the implementation period would commence on July 1, 2011. Ongoing services would commence on July 1, 2012.

RFP ADVISORY COMMITTEE MEMBERS

Derrick Agate Hopkins School District
Michelle Axell Intermediate District 287
Rus George Richfield Public School District
Theresa Globa Osseo Area Schools
Lance Libengood Eden Prairie Schools
Carolyn Oakes Minneapolis Public Schools
Tom Oestreich Bloomington Public Schools
Kerry Turrentine Richfield Public School District
Fran Wilke Minnetonka Public School


Update on Regional Transportation Study working to Improve Transportation Efficiency and Cost Effectiveness for Students Traveling Out-of-District – April 18, 2011

This message is from the RFP Advisory Committee who participated in the April 11th RFP review and consideration work meeting.

RFP REVIEW AND CONSIDERATION WORK MEETING OVERVIEW

The Committee met to consider ten different proposals with the outcome being to determine if consideration for regional action exists, and if so, which Vendor(s) met the quality expectations of the Committee.

A rubric tool was used to assist in identifying the highly-experienced/highly-performing vendors based on their explanation and cost breakdown. Five key areas were evaluation: Operational Entity, Bus Contractor Entity, Training Entity, Risk Assessment Value Added (RAVA), and Written Biography/Statement. Evaluation criteria and weighted values outlined in the proposal (pg4) were calculated on a spreadsheet.

RESULTS

Four top vendors were identified from each major entity (operational, bus contractor, and training). Vendors have been requested to provide further clarification and additional information:

  • A detailed financial summary which aligns with the services outlined in the proposal
  • Acceptance and financial implications of risks and values detailed in the RAVA plans
  • An action item checklist

Vendor response documents must be received by Monday, April 18th to Michelle Axell.

COST SHARING IDEA OF SUCH JOINT TRANSPORTATION

Discussion and questions were had around how participating districts would share in the costs, if this did show a cost savings for the Region. Michelle Axell shared a possible costing structure currently in practice with the Sussex County Regional Transportation Cooperative www.sussexcoop.org . Their district’s proportionate share of the cost of such joint transportation is outlined in the Resolution for Participation in Joint Transportation Agreement (see document section).

NEXT STEPS

The Committee will evaluate the response documents and make a recommendation based on the Vendor(s) whose proposal is responsive, responsible, and is the most advantageous to the Region, as determined by the Committee.

Based on the final Vendor(s) explanation and cost breakdown submitted in the proposal, participating school districts will be asked to provide their individual district cost impact in order to determine a regional total. A common template will be developed by Michelle Axell to aide individual districts with their cost impact and determination.

Information generated as a result of this RFP will be considered at the April 29th Superintendent meeting. A determination to proceed with regional action will conclude by May 27th, 2011.

ATTENDEES

Derrick Agate Hopkins School District
Michelle Axell Intermediate District 287
Rus George Richfield Public School District
Theresa Globa Osseo Area Schools
Lance Libengood Eden Prairie Schools
Carolyn Oakes Minneapolis Public Schools
Tom Oestreich Bloomington Public Schools
Kerry Turrentine Richfield Public School District
Fran Wilke Minnetonka Public Schools



Regional Transportation Study - Phase 4 - Jan 2011

This message to the Hennepin County Superintendents is from the Work Group members who attended the November 12th Regional Transportation Planning Meeting.

“ON-THE-BUS” VIDEO MESSAGE:
  • Derrick Agate: Director of Transportation, Hopkins School District
  • Michelle Axell: Special Projects Manager, District 287
  • Theresa Globa: Transportation Coordinator, Osseo Area Schools



"ON-THE-BUS" VIDEO WATCH HERE


REGIONAL TRANSPORTATION STUDY HISTORY

Since January 2009, a regional transportation study has examined the costs and benefits of a more flexible and/or more regional system that might improve the transportation efficiency in the west metro region. The intention of this project is to explore ways to maintain or improve service, and generate efficiencies or savings for districts through collaborative efforts.

During the initial phase, 287 school sites located in the north metro were studied. Based on those results, the study moved into a 2nd phase to include the 287 school sites located in south metro. The data showed positive results for potential cost efficiencies for districts.

Districts were asked to compare the projected study costs against actual costs to determine the cost impact to their district. On July 15, 2010, superintendents completed a survey assessing interest in having transportation leaders design a potential regional transportation model.

PLANNING MEETING CHARGE

Transportation leaders met on November 12, 2010 with the purpose to design a regional transportation model (or partial model) for Superintendent consideration.

The work group attendees developed a purpose statement during the daylong event: We are committed to collaborate among participating school districts to create a safe and efficient regional transportation model.

SYNTHESIS OF REGIONAL TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM – SERVICES AND FEATURES
POTENTIAL SERVICES MAY INCLUDE ANY OR ALL OF THE FOLLOWING:
  • 287 Programs (to/from & midday)
  • Care & Treatment
  • Charter Schools
  • School for Deaf & Blind
  • Carver Scott programs
  • Fair School
  • Teen Parents
  • Choice is Yours program
  • Homeless
OPERATIONAL ENTITY TO BE THE CENTER HUB
  • Communication center for districts, parents, and the contractors
  • Design all routes and schedules
  • Maintain student demographic data
  • Prepare cost per pupil/route statements
  • Produce state reporting documentation to districts
ESTABLISHED STANDARDS
  • Student ride time constant or shorter
  • Capacity
  • Custodial transfer
  • School bus specifications and performance
  • school emergency and inclement weather procedures
  • Bus driver and aide training
  • Student bus behavior expectations, documentation and process
  • Accountability/liability
    • Insurance
    • Driver disciplines
  • Calendar/times
    • School times will be staggered for efficiency; focus on 287 programs
    • Flexible drop off/pick up window for efficiency; understand implication for staff coverage
POSSIBLE STRUCTURE COMPONENTS (View PDF)
  • Advisory/Board of Directors Committee – oversight of policies, operations, and training; standardization of service and per pupil fee schedules
  • Regional Transportation Entity – handles the daily operations of the system
  • Training Entity
UNDERSTANDINGS FOR SUCCESS
  • Commitments from participating districts
  • Level of service same or better
  • Cost savings for participating districts with a level of stability
AGREED UPON CONCLUSIONS

The attendees support the concept of the detailed regional transportation system. Individuals were adamant that specific financial models are essential before districts purse the option to ensure savings. The structural alignment would need further examination and refinement.

RECOMMENDATIONS

Transportation work group members develop and conduct a comprehensive Request for Proposal (RFP) process to be completed by spring 2011. The members would also like superintendents to propose legislative considerations which support a regional transportation system.

ATTENDEES

Facilitator: Teresa Arpin Transformation Systems, Inc.
Derrick Agate Hopkins School District
Michelle Axell Intermediate District 287
Thomas Berlin Hopkins School District
Andy Bright 4.0 School Services (on behalf of Mound-Westonka School District)
Tom Burr Center for Efficient School Operations and Wayzata Public Schools
Rus George Richfield Public School District
Theresa Globa Osseo Area Schools
Kristin Johnson Robbinsdale Area Schools
Carolyn Oakes Minneapolis Public Schools
Keith Paulson Anoka-Hennepin
Barb Peterson Septran Bus Co. (on behalf of Minneapolis Public Schools)
Kurt Schumann First Student (on behalf of Osseo Area Schools)
Libbey Stettner Hopkins School District
Mike Turitto Wide Area Transportation Services (WATS) c/o TIES
Kerry Turrentine Richfield Public School District
Beau Twaddle Westonka Bus Service and Mound-Westonka School District
Jan Vanderwall Vanderwall Consulting, Inc. and Roseville Area Schools
Fran Wilke Minnetonka Public Schools
Marcia Zajac Orono School District
Karen Zubert Minnetonka Public Schools

Intermediate District 287
1820 XENIUM LANE NORTH Plymouth, MN 55441
PH: 763-559-3535
info@district287.org

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