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Remember the busing issue? yeah it wasn’t about saving the county money
  • BoredHouseWife November 11, 2012 - 7:35 pm #54771 Reply

    So apparently, Arlington county contracted out the bus service to a private entity.

    Ben November 12, 2012 - 10:13 am #54772 Reply

    BoredHouseWife said:

    So apparently, Arlington county contracted out the bus service to a private entity.

    While I agree you should be skeptical (If it's a friend/relative etc of a board member) whose to say the contractor is operating below what the County could do themselves?

    Loocy November 12, 2012 - 10:27 am #54773 Reply

    The bus fiasco is still going on.  Every school board meeting since September has been dominated by community speakers about the buses and the issues it has caused for the comunity.  This fiasco has cost an incredible amount of money, as well as a huge number of hours of time on the part of employees and school board members in managing the fallout. It also has cost the county a lot of money in traffic management. Bus service wasn't contracted out, but a private consulting firm has been brought in to help manage transportation services.  There has been no savings and a great deal of cost.  They did not reduce the number of buses, just added more complexity to the process.  

    internet tourettes November 12, 2012 - 4:11 pm #54774 Reply

    If I remember correctly, the transportation coordinator for ACPS quit due to the recommendations of the consultant. Does anyone know if there was a net reduction in Buses used this year?

    BoredHouseWife November 12, 2012 - 10:37 pm #54775 Reply

    Ben said:

    BoredHouseWife said:

    So apparently, Arlington county contracted out the bus service to a private entity.

    While I agree you should be skeptical (If it's a friend/relative etc of a board member) whose to say the contractor is operating below what the County could do themselves?

    I don't know. It may be a good investment. It is the lack of openness of what they are doing with our tax money. I don't know who was responsible for keeping this information under wraps. But in light of Murphy's reputation, I have concerns. They lie about this, what else are they lying about? The county didn't alter the bus service to be fiscally responsible. The private company altered bus service to profit.  The private company may do a fine job. I have no trust in the school board.

    BoredHouseWife November 12, 2012 - 10:38 pm #54776 Reply

    Loocy said:

    The bus fiasco is still going on.  Every school board meeting since September has been dominated by community speakers about the buses and the issues it has caused for the comunity.  This fiasco has cost an incredible amount of money, as well as a huge number of hours of time on the part of employees and school board members in managing the fallout. It also has cost the county a lot of money in traffic management. Bus service wasn't contracted out, but a private consulting firm has been brought in to help manage transportation services.  There has been no savings and a great deal of cost.  They did not reduce the number of buses, just added more complexity to the process.  

    when was this private consulting firm hired?

    BoredHouseWife November 12, 2012 - 10:41 pm #54777 Reply

    BoredHouseWife said:

    Ben said:

    BoredHouseWife said:

    So apparently, Arlington county contracted out the bus service to a private entity.

    While I agree you should be skeptical (If it's a friend/relative etc of a board member) whose to say the contractor is operating below what the County could do themselves?

    I don't know. It may be a good investment. It is the lack of openness of what they are doing with our tax money. I don't know who was responsible for keeping this information under wraps. But in light of Murphy's reputation, I have concerns. They lie about this, what else are they lying about? The county didn't alter the bus service to be fiscally responsible. The private company altered bus service to profit.  The private company may do a fine job. I have no trust in the school board.

    I was mistaken. It wasn't a private entity busing. It was a private entity consulting on busing.

    Loocy November 15, 2012 - 9:07 am #54778 Reply

    BoredHouseWife said:

    Loocy said:

    The bus fiasco is still going on.  Every school board meeting since September has been dominated by community speakers about the buses and the issues it has caused for the comunity.  This fiasco has cost an incredible amount of money, as well as a huge number of hours of time on the part of employees and school board members in managing the fallout. It also has cost the county a lot of money in traffic management. Bus service wasn't contracted out, but a private consulting firm has been brought in to help manage transportation services.  There has been no savings and a great deal of cost.  They did not reduce the number of buses, just added more complexity to the process.  

    when was this private consulting firm hired?

    The private consulting firm was hired originally Spring 2011 to do a study of the transportation department, and then that same firm was hired to provide consulting as they restructured the department (however, APS is still running the transportation department).  The study didn't find any big problems with bus ridership or crowding, the problems were mostly with how the department was run.  The study found that Arlington for the most part under-utilized their buses — way more than the optimal number of buses in reserve, far fewer trips per day than typical for a school bus system, most routes running with buses more than half empty.  There were a few routes that were poorly planned and overcrowded, but the recommendation on those was to redistribute stops to accommodate the actual ridership and also to consider small changes in start times to ensure that buses had plenty of time to finish one route before starting the next.  Rather than implement the study's recommendations, the school system chose to reduce bus ridership by refusing bus service to a significant portion of the population, transferring the burden to the county in terms of traffic and police presence.  The same number of buses are in use this year, but the buses are even less utilized since seats are reserved for all kids “assigned” to a bus even if they don't ever ride the bus.  This wasn't the decision of the consultants, it was the decision of the superintendent.  The consultants are being paid $30,000 per month to provide guidance to the transportation department, but the recommendations being implemented are not from the study they did.

    BoredHouseWife November 15, 2012 - 9:12 am #54779 Reply

    Loocy said:

    BoredHouseWife said:

    Loocy said:

    The bus fiasco is still going on.  Every school board meeting since September has been dominated by community speakers about the buses and the issues it has caused for the comunity.  This fiasco has cost an incredible amount of money, as well as a huge number of hours of time on the part of employees and school board members in managing the fallout. It also has cost the county a lot of money in traffic management. Bus service wasn't contracted out, but a private consulting firm has been brought in to help manage transportation services.  There has been no savings and a great deal of cost.  They did not reduce the number of buses, just added more complexity to the process.  

    when was this private consulting firm hired?

    The private consulting firm was hired originally Spring 2011 to do a study of the transportation department, and then that same firm was hired to provide consulting as they restructured the department (however, APS is still running the transportation department).  The study didn't find any big problems with bus ridership or crowding, the problems were mostly with how the department was run.  The study found that Arlington for the most part under-utilized their buses — way more than the optimal number of buses in reserve, far fewer trips per day than typical for a school bus system, most routes running with buses more than half empty.  There were a few routes that were poorly planned and overcrowded, but the recommendation on those was to redistribute stops to accommodate the actual ridership and also to consider small changes in start times to ensure that buses had plenty of time to finish one route before starting the next.  Rather than implement the study's recommendations, the school system chose to reduce bus ridership by refusing bus service to a significant portion of the population, transferring the burden to the county in terms of traffic and police presence.  The same number of buses are in use this year, but the buses are even less utilized since seats are reserved for all kids “assigned” to a bus even if they don't ever ride the bus.  This wasn't the decision of the consultants, it was the decision of the superintendent.  The consultants are being paid $30,000 per month to provide guidance to the transportation department, but the recommendations being implemented are not from the study they did.

    thank you for the clarification. .

    yequalsy November 15, 2012 - 11:26 am #54780 Reply

    That's not the only part of the consultant report that was pointedly ignored. They also said that transportation reforms needed to be done slowly with plenty of warning for everyone.  I quote from their ppt presentation in November 2011:

    “Implementation of this action plan will not occur successfully overnight. Rather, the APS must be prepared for an implementation timeline that extends over a minimum of two years….Failure to begin [initial] implementation by January, 2012 will jeopardize successful completion in time for the start of the 2012-2013 school year. Attempting implementation, particularly of the bus route restructuring, on a compressed time horizon will impart additional risk of failure for the plan as a whole.”

     

    I have kids in elementary and middle-school but was not affected by the bus changes at all. However, before this I was quite unimpressed with the new superintendent, but felt he deserved a chance. Well he had his chance. Now we need to get rid of him.  Cramming through block scheduling at the middle schools is next folks. It's not that block scheduling is bad per se, it's that the benefits of block scheduling are marginal at best. It's just the fad of the day in always fad obsessed education section. 

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