Education
11:36 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

Lansing school district privatizing bus service

Five thousand Lansing school students will be riding buses operated by a private company this fall.

The school board voted last night to privatize its bus system. Dean Transportation currently provides bus service to a consortium of Ingham County school districts.

When the Lansing School Board tabled a proposal to privatize its bus service in January, the issue seemed to be put on the back burner until next year.

When the Lansing School Board tabled a proposal to privatize its bus service in January the issue seemed to be put on the back burner until next year. But school board president Peter Spadafore says budget issues forced it back onto the agenda this month.Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan RadioEdit | Remove

But Board President Peter Spadafore says budget issues forced it back onto the agenda this month.

“When we started looking at $6 million cuts, we examined the budget, top to bottom, and part of the recommendations were that we had to do something in the area of transportation,” says Spadafore.

Lansing school officials hope to reap more than $2 million from privatizing the bus service by combining savings on salaries and the sale of the district’s fleet of school buses.

A union official says he doubts the district will see the savings it predicts.

Current Lansing school bus system employees will get a chance to apply for jobs with the district’s new bus service provider.