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Ridgefield Looks Into New School Bus Contracts

RIDGEFIELD, Conn. — The Ridgefield Public School system is looking at what could be a $25 million five-year contract for transportation after negotiations are completed later this year.

The current contract with Baumann & Sons will expire June 30, and the district has decided to look at other options. To assist in the process, the Board of Education has hired the consulting firm of Transportation Advisory Services.

Mark Walsh, president of Transportation Advisory Services, will be the town's liaison for the process. Walsh and his group will be working with the district to determine what is necessary for the district’s needs and what might be on a wish list.

Currently, he and his group are gathering data and putting together workable options for a timeline that concludes with a new five-year contract in December.

“It’s a fairly standard process,” Walsh said. By October, pre-bids will come in. In November, the contract will go out for the actual bids. Transportation companies must provide what the district requires in the contract.

For now, Walsh said he and the district must work out the contract requirements. That could include not using a bus more than 10 years old, setting a specific fuel efficiency or, a requirement the district currently has, using buses of at least 190 horsepower.

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