Busing contract for Bristol Agricultural comes in higher than expected

Sep 4, 2019

MARION — The contract to bus students to Bristol Agricultural High School has come out for more than expected, leaving school and town administrators working together to find additional funds. 

This summer, the school district went out to bid for transport to the agricultural high school. 

Superintendent Doug White said that the school “did meet with Town Administrators to look at other ways of providing that transportation,” including purchasing a bus themselves. However because of the timing on the search they ultimately decided to go out to bid for a bus company. 

The school district selected Braga Bus Company in Fall River, who will charge $34,920 to each town for the service. Braga was the lowest responsive bidder for the contract, with Amaral Bus Co. providing a quote of $47,520.00 for Mattapoisett, $46,440.00 for Marion and 47,880.00 for Rochester and Whaling City Transit providing a quote of $53,100 for Marion and Mattapoisett and $58,500 for Rochester, according to documents for 

However, Marion only budgeted around $17,000 for the service. Last year it also had to offset the cost of the transportation with funds from other items in the budget. 

White explained after the meeting that the increase in cost was because the towns had changed the bussing route. Previously, the Bristol Aggie bus had run between Marion and Rochester, with Mattapoisett students being serviced by a van. 

White said that switching to a bus for all three towns would also cut down student time on the bus. 

The contract is short-term, and written for one year with two option to extend.