North Clarion signs contract with new bus company | cover page

FRILLS CORNERS – The North Clarion School Board unanimously approved on April 11 a five-year contract with Joseph Muccio Transportation LLC to provide student transportation.

During the council business session a week prior, District Superintendent Steve Young announced that Muccio had submitted the lowest of four bids in response to the district’s RFP.

Muccio’s offer was $2,792 per day for the first year, rising to $3,152 per day at the end of the contract.

The cost to the district for the first year of the contract would be $494,184. The cost of transportation for the 2021-22 school year is $390,517, but according to Young, that figure comes from the state’s index-based cost formula. Young said the total based on the cost index for next year is $412,804.

Haines Transportation of Corsica, Keystone Transportation Group of Seneca and Paul Brown Student Transportation Services of New Bethlehem also submitted bids.

Brown had the lowest of the three remaining bids. Brown’s offer was $3,600 per day for the first year, rising to $4,051 per day at the end of the contract. Keystone Transportation’s offer was $3,800 per day for the start of the contract, increasing to $4,100 per day in the fifth year of the proposed contract. Haines Transportation’s bid was the highest with a first-year bid at $4,200 per day increasing to $4,636 at the end of the contract.

One of the changes in state transportation reimbursements is that the newer the bus used by a contractor, the higher the state reimbursement.

Joseph Muccio, who attended the workshop meeting, informed the board that he plans to purchase eight new buses which will be used exclusively for the North Clarion contract.

“Before I decided to go out to tender (at North Clarion), I wasn’t going to give you numbers and not have the equipment, that would be crazy,” Muccio said. “We have contacted Wolfington Bus Sales and they have eight 2023 buses that they have on standby for us to use for this district.”

Under the state reimbursement formula, the district would get full state reimbursement for using the new bus for the first four years of its life. Once the bus is over four years old, the state reimbursement depreciates.

Young said the reimbursement the district could receive from the state would be approximately $25,000. Young also said that if more students return to school after cyber school, the reimbursement will also increase.

Muccio guaranteed that he would use the new buses he purchased from North Clarion for the first five years of the contract.

Some of the other school districts Muccio has contracts with are Forest Area, St. Marys, Johnsonburg, Port Allegany, Coudersport, Oswayo Valley, and Kane.

Board member Winfield Lutz asked Muccio if the buses used in North Clarion would be parked in the area.

Muccio said some of the buses could be parked at the homes of local drivers or could be accommodated in West Forest or East Forest. Muccio also said that some of the current drivers under contract with North Clarion are interested in driving North Clarion routes for Muccio.

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