Spike in Oberlin busing costs

By Laurie Hamame - lhamame@aimmediamidwest.com

Busing costs for the Oberlin City Schools so far this year are nearly $16,000 higher than the same six-month period in 2016-2017.

Due to a shortage of drivers, the district has contracted services through the Amherst Schools, First Student in Elyria, and Safe and Reliable Transportation in Amherst Township. Oberlin has nine employed drivers, according to superintendent David Hall.

Athletic trip drop-offs are costing $8,826 more than last school year. Safe and Reliable Transportation costs between $100 to $250 per ride based on the type of vehicle. A little more than $40,000 was spent on driving students to Lake Ridge Academy in North Ridgeville and to the Positive Education Program in Grafton.

State officials recently ruled that the Oberlin district no longer has to provide busing for students who choose to enroll at the college preparatory school, which the board said will cut expenses.

Almost $400 has gone toward bus and van driver training. Four drivers are currently in training, which is more than previous school years, Hall said.

Four equal payments of $70,702 in fiscal years 2018 through 2021 will go toward the purchase of two new 84-passenger buses and one 67-passenger bus with a lift.

Switching from Countryview Services of Wakeman to New London Schools for bus maintenance has saved about $52,ooo.

The district can also pocket some extra cash by filing a T-1 tax form. It can be reimbursed for costs associated with transporting preschool special needs students on regular routes. The same applies to K-12 students living more than one mile from school who are transported during the first full week of October and students attending a joint vocational school.

Laurie Hamame can be reached at 440-775-1611 or @HamameNews on Twitter.

By Laurie Hamame