Omaha school board approves $5.7 million contract with additional busing company

The OPS Board approved an additional contract for bus service Monday night.
Published: May. 2, 2023 at 4:48 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Omaha Public Schools is adding buses for the coming school year.

The school board voted to approve a busing contract with First Student Inc. for “augmented student transportation” as part of its consent agenda on Monday night.

The $5.7 million contract for 30-60 buses will begin with the 2023-24 school year. According to the agenda item, First Student was the only bidder on the one-year contract, which also has options for two extensions of one year.

“These services include but are not limited to transporting students who participate in District athletic/activity events, transporting students attending the Wilson Focus Program, and providing supplemental home-to-school transportation services for students as needed,” the agenda item states.

The decision comes about four months after the district announced proposed changes to bus routes for the next school year. The changes — which will reduce bus ride eligibility for several OPS students — were approved by the school board about a week later.

The new contract states that it is supplementary to the current OPS contract with Student Transportation of America.

Busing has been an issue for the district for some time. Last May, a 7-year-old boy sought help from a neighbor after his bus driver let him off at the wrong stop.

The current school year got off to a rocky start in August as a driver shortage set in. But weeks later, families were still dealing with excessive school bus delays.

Reporter Isabella Caracta contributed to this story.