Meridian may outsource school bus service

MERIDIAN, Idaho (KBOI) - The Meridian School District is proposing to hire out their bus service to Student Transportation Incorporated, a nationwide company that won the bid to take over. Meridian bus drivers now may find themselves out of a job.

Eric Exline, Meridian School district spokesman, said, "It isn't an issue that we don't think they are doing a good job. We don't have enough of them. Our supervisors drove essentially everyday of the school year. They called me once to drive, that's how short they were."

Meridian drivers and shop mechanics came to plead that outsourcing wasn't the way to go during the boards special meeting Monday. The school district said that about 80% of the drivers would be hired to work with the new company and they would most likely get raises.

The district's numbers show after five years they can save more than 15 million dollars and have new buses if they contracted the work out. Bus drivers say there wouldn't be a shortage of drivers if they increase the hours they work to make a living wage. The district says they will write the contract so they can opt out if the arrangement doesnt work with the new company.

The Meridian board members voted to put off their decision on what to do until Wednesday at 5:30 when they will have another special session. They will not take public opinions at that meeting.