HFM BOCES and the Mayfield Central School District are working together on a proposal to increase efficiency by sharing student transportation services.
“Mayfield Central School is considering shared transportation services with HFM BOCES,” Superintendent Jon Peterson said. “The advantage of the share would include addressing bus driver shortage, supervision, and administration of DOT regulations. Additionally, the district anticipates a financial savings. Essential to the shared service, current district transportation employees become HFM BOCES employees, the district retains the buses and bus maintenance operates from our facility.”
BOCES Superintendent Dr. Patrick Michel addressed members of the transportation department on Wednesday, June 28, to inform them of what the shared service would mean for them, answer their questions and address their concerns.
The Mayfield Board of Education will consider the service at its July 11 board meeting.
The HFM Regional Transportation Service was created in 2012 when BOCES partnered with the Gloversville and Johnstown school districts to provide general and special purpose transportation for students.
“The Regional Transportation Service has proven to be a cost effective and efficient partnership,” said Dr. Michel. “Bringing Mayfield into the service would be beneficial for all the schools involved.”
BOCES and Mayfield officials have met during the last several months to explore the feasibility of merging their services. Mayfield employees would become Regional Transportation employees alongside the former Gloversville and Johnstown drivers, aides, secretaries and maintenance workers. Currently, Mayfield has approximately 20 transportation employees, all of whom would be included in the proposal. The Mayfield employees would all be “held harmless,” meaning their pay and benefits would remain the same until a new collective bargaining agreement is voted on.
If approved by the Mayfield Board of Education, the sharing of transportation services could begin in the fall. During the first year, bus routes are not expected to be changed, and parents will be informed should the partnership move forward.
There would be no added cost for Mayfield to enter the partnership, and the district would maintain ownership of its bus fleet and maintenance facility. During the short and long term, the partnership would result in efficiencies in the areas of employee recruitment, purchasing, training and more. Mayfield also does not currently have a dedicated transportation director or dispatcher but would have the services of both under the partnership.
“Transportation is one of the critical connections between students and our schools. By sharing services, we help ensure safe transportation for our children, without sacrificing educational programs,” Dr. Michel said.