Jackson County Public Schools
Request for Proposals to Perform Services – 2010 through 2013
Inquiries may be directed to Catherine Brechtelsbauer, JCISD, 6700 Browns Lake
Road, Jackson, MI 49201; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Proposals to be submitted by April 12, 2010 at 3:00 p.m.
The Jackson County Intermediate School District and all of the county’s local school districts
have initiated this request for proposals to perform their current transportation services
(including maintenance of school buses and related equipment) to evaluate whether the
services can be provided more efficiently and/or more cost effectively, while continuing to focus
on safety, reliability, the individual needs of students and the standards established by individual
boards of education. Participation in this study should not be interpreted as a sign that any
participating district wants to reduce or eliminate services to its students.
We have no preconceived notions on the manner in which these services should be provided in
the future. We will consider qualified proposals from private businesses with experience
providing student transportation, from private businesses with experience maintaining and
repairing school buses, from nearby school districts interested in providing transportation and/or
bus maintenance services to multiple districts, and from bargaining units that represent current
employees who perform the work being studied [pursuant to MCL 423.215 (3)(f)]. No bidder is
required to bid to perform all of the services addressed in this request, but each bid should
address those services the bidder feels it can effectively assume beginning in the fall of 2010.
The Jackson County school districts that are participating in this consolidated RFP, and their
individual website addresses, are:
Columbia School District www.myeagles.org
Concord Community Schools www.concordschools.net
East Jackson Community Schools www.ejs.k12.mi.us 1
Grass Lake Community Schools www.grasslakeschools.com
Hanover-Horton School District www.hanoverhorton.org
Jackson County Intermediate School District www.jcisd.org
Jackson Public Schools www.jpsk12.org
Michigan Center School District www.mcps.k12.mi.us
Napoleon Community Schools www.napoleonschools.org
Northwest Community Schools www.nwschools.org
Springport Public Schools www.springportschools.net
Vandercook Lake Public Schools www.vandyschools.org
Western School District www.westernschools.org
Interested parties can review individual district websites for general information about each
district. The information provided in this proposal will specifically target information related to
the manner in which the district is providing transportation-related services, and its current and
recent costs to do so.
A. Submission of Proposals
The date and time for receipt of proposals is April 12, 2010 at 3:00 p.m.
Please note a new website is currently under construction: www.eastjacksonschools.org.
Jackson County ISD – Consolidated Transportation RFP – March 2010 Page 1
A required information session for prospective proposers will be held on March 23, 2010 at
1:00 p.m. at the Jackson County ISD, Kratz Education Center, 6700 Browns Lake Road,
Jackson, MI 49201. A representative of each participating district will be present to
respond to questions. The location of the room will be posted at each entrance.
Proposals should be submitted in an opaque envelope, addressed to:
SEALED PROPOSAL ENCLOSED
PUPIL TRANSPORTATION SERVICES
c/o JACKSON COUNTY ISD
Attn: C. Brechtelsbauer
6700 BROWNS LAKE ROAD
JACKSON, MI 49201
No faxed or e-mailed proposals will be accepted.
Proposals submitted shall be irrevocable for ninety (90) calendar days following the
deadline for submission date and time, above.
B. Late Proposals
Proposals or Revised Proposals will not be accepted after the date and time listed above,
with one exception. If a decision is made to change a specific aspect of the Request for
Proposals, all qualified proposers will be offered an opportunity to amend their proposals
and provided a new deadline.
The District is not responsible or liable for delivery or postal delays. Proposals that are
received late will be returned to the proposer unopened.
Each proposal must include one signed original and 13 complete copies (one per district).
D. Opening of Proposals
All submitted proposals will be publicly opened and dated on April 12, 2010, beginning at
3:30 p.m., at the Jackson County ISD Kratz Education Center, 6700 Browns Lake Road,
Jackson, MI 49201. (The room will be designated with a sign at each building entrance.)
Any interested parties may attend. No immediate analysis will occur or decision rendered.
Following receipt of the proposals, the District will communicate with proposers via e-mail.
F. Intent to Respond
Parties who intend to respond to this RFP are encouraged to advise the District of that
intent with contact information (including e-mail address) as soon as possible, and are
required to do so no later than March 31, 2010. In the event a prospective responder
requests clarification of any of the RFP terms or attachments, or requests additional
information not contained in the RFP or attachments, no later than April 2, 2010, the District
Jackson County ISD – Consolidated Transportation RFP – March 2010 Page 2
will issue a revision for the proposal directly to all known prospective responders, as well as
placing any clarifications with the RFP package on the JCISD website. Any requests for
clarification and notices of intention to respond may be e-mailed to
G. Facility Tours
A schedule will be established for interested proposers to tour facilities and view fleets at
the pre-bid information session.
H. Other Communications
The District intends that all proposers will have equal access to information related to the
RFP. From the issue date of the RFP until the proposals are opened, a proposer shall not
communicate about the subject of the RFP or the proposer’s proposal with any of the
participating school districts, their respective boards of education, or any individual member,
administrator, faculty, staff, students or employees except as coordinated by the Jackson
County ISD. Once the proposals are opened, a proposer is still restricted from initiating any
communications with participating school districts, their respective boards, or any individual
member, administrator, faculty, staff, students or employees on the subject of the RFP;
however, a proposer may respond to inquiries or requests for clarification initiated by an
administrative representative of any district or may ask the JCISD RFP coordinator to make
an inquiry on the proposer’s behalf. Proposers will not communicate about the subject of
the RFP with any member of a Jackson County school board, except during a public board
meeting, until a decision is made and announced. A prospective proposer who notes any
inconsistency in the RFP or who has any other concerns related to the process will submit a
request for clarification as noted in Section F, above.
I. Reservation of Rights
Each participating school district reserves the right to accept or reject, in whole or in part,
any or all proposals with or without cause. Each district also reserves the right to act in the
best interests of the district, including awarding its transportation services, in whole or in
part, to any proposer or to continue performing those services for itself. Each district
reserves the right to request additional information from any or all proposers following
receipt and analysis of proposals. Example 1: An individual district may receive a proposal
to perform all maintenance work on its buses, but may ask a proposer to refine the proposal
to only include certain types of maintenance work. Example 2: A district may receive
several proposals to perform all pupil transportation, but may ask one or more proposers to
refine the proposals to separate transportation of general education students and special
education students; or to divide proposals to separate transportation to K-12 schools from
special runs like the Career Center shuttle. If an individual district chooses to request a
refined proposal from fewer than all of the proposers for that particular service, it will
communicate the reason for not including those who are not invited to continue.
J. Collusive Bidding
Each proposer, by participating in this process, certifies that its proposal is made without
any previous understanding, agreement or connection with any person, firm or corporation
making a proposal for the same project and is in all respects fair, without outside control,
collusion, fraud or otherwise illegal action.
Jackson County ISD – Consolidated Transportation RFP – March 2010 Page 3
II. TERM OF CONTRACT
The term of the contract shall be for three (3) years. Proposers are encouraged to also
offer an option for the contracting district(s) to renew for up to three additional years. The
costs/prices in the proposal for the first three years will be firm, and any contingencies
associated with prices/costs will be clearly stated in the proposal. If the option to renew is
offered, price/cost increases may not exceed 3% per year over the price/cost for the third
year of the initial proposal.
The anticipated timeline for the proposal, review and potential contracting processes are:
Issuance of RFP March 15, 2010
Required pre-proposal meeting March 23, 2010, 1:00 p.m.
Deadline for (optional) notice of intent to respond March 31, 2010
Deadline for written requests for clarifications April 2, 2010
Deadline for proposals April 12, 2010, 3:00 p.m.
Potential interviews and presentations Week of April 19, 2010
Deadline for school districts to award contracts May 27, 2010
Contract implementations July and/or August 2010
Please note: Each school district reserves the right, in its sole discretion to make
adjustments in the above timelines as it determines to be in its best interests.
IV. SCOPE OF SERVICES
Proposers may offer to perform transportation and/or bus maintenance services for one or
more districts included in this Request for Proposals. Proposers must agree to provide
services in accordance to the following, insofar as the proposal addresses the applicable
A. Transportation Services
Proposer who seeks to provide transportation services will agree to provide safe and
reliable, on-time delivery of general education and/or special education students to and
from school on a daily basis within the defined parameters and policies for each applicable
school district. Additionally, proposer will agree to provide safe, reliable and on-time
delivery to any non-district students for whom the district provides transportation pursuant
to its current policies and/or contracts, such as parochial school students, charter school
students, “school of choice” students, and Head Start students.
Jackson County ISD – Consolidated Transportation RFP – March 2010 Page 4
Proposer who seeks to provide transportation services will do so using efficient routing of
all regular education, special education and other transportation needs of the applicable
district(s), as outlined in the contract that is negotiated. The successful proposer may alter
existing routes of the district(s) so long as all routes and stops conform to all federal and
state laws and the policies of the applicable district(s) and routes are reviewed and
approved by the district in advance. Each district will designate a transportation liaison to
facilitate administration of the contract and communication between that district and the
party that contracts to perform the services. Each proposal for transportation services
should indicate whether the district or the proposer will be responsible to the cost of fueling
vehicles and making arrangements for vehicle fuel.
B. Fleet Maintenance
Proposer who seeks to maintain the transportation equipment will agree to maintain all
buses in a manner that meets all state requirements and the standards of the applicable
district. The successful proposer will use appropriately certified mechanics to perform all
mechanical repair and maintenance, but may use lesser qualified staff for minor, non-
mechanical maintenance such as changing wiper blades, checking fluid levels, etc. Some
districts are interested in reviewing proposals for maintenance of their “white fleets.”
Accordingly, a proposer who seeks to perform those services must specifically address that
topic in its proposal. The proposer that seeks to perform equipment maintenance will
specify whether and to what extent the district’s on-hand parts inventory will be utilized.
Proposers seeking to perform maintenance--but not transportation of pupils--will specify
whether the proposal includes bus cleaning (interior) and washing (exterior).
If proposer chooses to lease all or part of one or more district-owned facilities to fulfill the
terms of its commitments, proposer agrees to be responsible for the maintenance, grounds,
operating costs, utilities, janitorial and non-capital expenditures reasonably required for any
such facility (or portion thereof). The leasing district(s) will only be responsible for capital
expenditures to maintain its/their facilities unless the proposal specifically notes the
exceptions to this parameter and the negotiated lease(s) with applicable districts clearly
note the exceptions. The proposer should specifically address whether it wants to use
existing office equipment, communication equipment (radios, telephones), GPS equipment,
video surveillance, and similar equipment. The proposer will also indicate if it wants to take
over existing software licenses, permits or similar “rights” the district may currently have.
Proposer agrees to select, evaluate, train, compensate and retain qualified transportation
employees to fulfill the duties contemplated in its proposal, including all necessary drivers,
bus aids, mechanics, management, and clerical personnel. Proposer may employ and/or
subcontract for mechanical services. All employees must meet the standards required of
district employed staff for the same positions, including criminal history background checks.
E. Additional Commitments Required of all Transportation-related Service Providers
Proposer agrees to implement student discipline practices in cooperation with the
applicable school district(s) and as mandated by the applicable district’s(s’) policies.
Applicable district discipline policies will be followed, in cooperation with the district(s). It is
Jackson County ISD – Consolidated Transportation RFP – March 2010 Page 5
understood that discipline policies may be amended from time to time by each school
board. Each transportation proposal will indicate whether the proposer will be the primary
implementer of student discipline or whether the proposer will rely on district staff to do so.
Proposer agrees to effectively communicate with each district with whom it contracts to
work. Effective communication commitments apply to district administration, school board,
drivers, bus aides, mechanics, support staff, parents, students and the community, as
applicable to the services addressed in the contract.
Proposer commits to continuously engage in operational analysis to effectively manage
costs, maintain appropriate service levels, and ensure safety.
All services performed on behalf of a district will comply with all applicable state, federal
and local laws, including civil rights laws related to provision of services to students and
V. PROPOSAL REQUIREMENTS
Proposals must demonstrate an understanding of the scope of work and the ability to
accomplish the tasks set forth. Proposals will include information that will enable the
applicable district(s) to determine Proposer’s overall qualifications. Proposers will include
any information that is significant with respect to the district making an informed decision
relative to its proposal, including references and current contact information for each
reference. Proposals from parties with less than five (5) years of successful experience
performing like work for similarly sized organizations may be disregarded at the discretion
of the applicable school district.
A proposer seeking an exception to any of the terms and conditions contained in this RFP
or any special considerations or conditions requested or required must specifically
enumerate same in its proposal, along with an explanation for that request. All pricing
factors must be clearly indicated in the proposal.
Each participating school district is also seeking ideas for consideration from proposers as
to how the district can realize additional efficiencies in the delivery of transportation
services. To that end, proposers are encouraged to include additional voluntary alternate
proposals as appendices to the base proposal, covering suggestions for consideration.
Each proposal shall be for a three (3) year term, and may include an option to renew for up
to three additional years.
Each proposal will include a transition plan/implementation schedule.
Should the successful proposer seek to lease one or more district transportation and/or
maintenance facilities in order to provide the services described in the proposal, reference
to such leasing will be made in the proposal including the manner in which the prospective
lease arrangement impacts the remaining terms of the proposal. Such lease arrangements
will be negotiated by each affected district after proposals are evaluated by affected
districts and a determination is made that one or more meet the needs of the districts.
Similarly, each participating district is willing to enter into lease arrangements for at least
the first three years of a negotiated agreement to allow a provider of pupil transportation
Jackson County ISD – Consolidated Transportation RFP – March 2010 Page 6
services to use the current district bus fleet, subject to the conditions stated later in this
Each proposal will provide information about the proposer and its ability to perform the
Each proposal will provide background and qualifications of the personnel who will be
involved with the applicable district(s). Chain of command and reporting relationships will
be described, as well as addressing where in the table of organization the proposer’s
liaison to the district(s) is placed.
Special exceptions and explanations to the RFP will be addressed, if applicable.
If the proposal is made by a private contractor, the proposal will include detailed evidence
that the proposer is currently providing successful pupil transportation services and/or fleet
maintenance services for other K-12 school districts, and contact information for persons
responsible for evaluating the performance of proposer for each of those contractual
services. Successful experience efficiently performing work of similar scope in Michigan
will be given strong consideration.
If applicable, proposals must describe the manner in which routing will be done, and pupil
transportation information and management will be performed.
Proposals will describe the in-service training and education program that will be
implemented for all employees including, as applicable, drivers, mechanics and other staff.
Proposers will provide evidence of all aspects of their transportation management
capabilities. These will include human resources services, computer systems which will be
used, and training programs for management personnel.
Proposers will provide evidence of ability to provide adequate insurance coverage to
protect the interests of both the proposer and the applicable district(s). Proof of current
insurances, including workers’ compensation, professional and general liability coverage
will be provided with the proposal.
Upon award of the contract, the successful proposer will be required to provide a
certificate of insurance from an AM Best Rating insurance company naming the
applicable district(s) as additional insured for the auto and general liability insurance,
and certificate(s) of coverage with the following minimum amounts will be provided
annually to the applicable district(s) on or before the expiration date of the previous
General liability insurance - $1,000.000 per occurrence/$2,000,000 aggregate
Employment practice liability to include third party - $1,000,000 per occurrence/
Workers Compensation: Employer’s liability limits of $1,000,000 each accident/
$1,000,000 each employee/disease, with an alternate employer liability
Umbrella liability – minimum $5,000,000 each occurrence/aggregate
Automobile liability - $1,000,000 non-owned and hired
Proposers must meet all requirements of local, state and federal laws, rules and regulations
that apply to Michigan public school districts and pupil transportation services, including the
Jackson County ISD – Consolidated Transportation RFP – March 2010 Page 7
Michigan Revised School Code (MCL 380.1 et seq.), the Pupil Transportation Act (MCL
257.1801 et seq.) and all applicable civil rights laws.
Proposers must provide professional references, including Michigan K-12 public school
references (contact name, title, address, phone number, fleet size and scope of services).
Proposers must list all litigation or regulatory proceedings within the previous five (5) years
within the state of Michigan (or if 85% or more of Proposer’s pupil transportation and/or
maintenance contracts are outside Michigan, in the state(s) where 85% is performed). The
report is to include all contract disputes and negligence actions, allegations of
noncompliance with OSHA or similar standards, and allegations of pupil mistreatment.
Proposer need not report workers’ compensation or unemployment proceedings.
Proposers must include audited corporate financial reports for the most recent three fiscal
years. If no such reports exist, proposers must explain the reason for the lack of such
reports and provide satisfactory means of evaluating the ongoing fiscal management of the
Proposers must include a wage and benefit schedule that will be offered to employees who
perform the work identified in the proposal.
Proposers must complete and include all applicable forms provided in this RFP package.
If applicable, proposals must disclose familial associations between Proposer’s
administrative and managerial employees and any administrator or board member in the
district(s) with which the proposer seeks to enter a contract. This disclosure will not
disqualify any proposer, but will be used to ensure that everyone involved in evaluating
proposals, and negotiating and approving all contracts are able to do so without such
Proposer understands that both the pupil transportation operations being evaluated in this
process, and the process itself are complex. Each and every facet of the current
operations in each district cannot be detailed in this RFP. It is required, therefore, that all
potential proposers attend the pre-bid meeting to ask for any additional information needed
to make a good faith proposal. It is recommended that Proposers specifically note any
assumptions that were relied upon in the development of the proposal. It is also
recommended that the proposer document its expertise, experience and approach based
on its best understanding of the applicable district’s(s’) requirements.
Proposals must provide contact information for the individual who will act as primary
contact for purposes of potential interview and negotiation. Proposals must be signed by a
person with authority to commit the proposer to the commitments made therein. Each
proposer, by submitting its Proposal, releases the school district(s) from any and all claims
arising out of, and related to, the RFP process and the selection process. Proposer
understands it is responsible for any costs associated with making its proposal and any
negotiations incidental to its proposal.
The individual districts will determine whether any of the proposals received may be in the
best interests of the district(s). The districts may select apparently qualified finalists for
Jackson County ISD – Consolidated Transportation RFP – March 2010 Page 8
post-proposal interview and/or oral presentation and/or to request additional printed
Finalists will be required to provide a bid bond in the amount equal to five percent of the
first year total contract amount, as a guarantee of proposer’s good faith in making the
proposal. Bid bonds posted by a proposer shall be from a surety licensed to do business in
the state of Michigan and the attorney-in-fact who executes the bid bond on behalf of
proposer must attach a certified, current copy of its power of attorney. If a certified check is
submitted instead of a bid bond, it shall be made payable to the school district(s) for which
the proposer has proposed to do services. The school district(s) shall not be liable for any
interest. The good faith deposit shall be forfeited as liquidated damages, and not a penalty,
if the proposer withdraws its proposal upon or after acceptance of its proposal by the
school district(s), proposer fails to execute the form of contract and provide insurance and
bonds acceptable to the district(s), substantially evidencing and incorporating this RFP and
its proposal within fifteen calendar days of an award of a contract to the proposer. Good
faith deposits shall be returned to all proposers within a reasonable time after the award of
a contract and execution of a contract by the successful proposer.
The district(s) reserve the right, in its (their) sole discretion to accept or reject, in whole or in
part, any or all proposals with or without cause. The district(s) further reserves the right to
waive any irregularity or informality in the RFP process or any proposal, and the right to
award the contract to other than the proposer(s) submitting the best financial proposal (i.e.,
low bidder). The district(s) reserves the right to request additional information from any or
all proposers. The district(s) reserves the right to negotiate with proposers concerning their
If a proposal is accepted and a contract is negotiated with a Proposer to provide
transportation and/or fleet maintenance services, current district employees will be
displaced, and the successful proposer will employ its own staff to provide the contracted
services. Proposer must employ persons who meet the same standards required of school
district employees pursuant to Michigan and federal law, so proof of finger printing and
review of criminal history and other background checks will be required, as well as drug
testing, physical, driving record review and all other requirements to operate a school bus..
Proposer must agree to consider applications from the displaced employees who are
interested in working for the successful proposer. The successful proposer will be free to
hire those individuals whom it deems to be best qualified, in its sole discretion.
VIII. LEASING A FACILITY
Each participating district is willing to enter into an agreement with a successful proposer to
use all or a portion of its current transportation facility to facilitate one or more proposers
providing transportation services to its pupils (and the pupils of one or more other county
districts) and/or fleet maintenance services for its buses (and the buses of one or more
other county districts). A proposed lease is provided based on the assumption that the
proposer will use the facility to provide all transportation and bus maintenance services for
an individual district from that district’s current facility. The terms of a facility lease
agreement will be amended to reflect the specific nature of the services to be provided in
the successful proposal(s). Proposers interested in using all or a portion of one or more
school district facilities should specifically identify facility needs and purposes in the
Jackson County ISD – Consolidated Transportation RFP – March 2010 Page 9
proposal, and the manner in which the proposer wants the proposed lease to be amended.
The final negotiated facility lease will be subject to review and approval by the applicable
district’s legal counsel.
IX. LEASING A BUS FLEET
Each participating district is expecting to enter into an agreement with a successful
proposer to use all or a portion of its current transportation fleet to provide transportation
services to its pupils. A proposed equipment lease is included within the Contract for
transportation services. The terms and conditions of the proposed fleet lease portion of the
Contract indicate the buses and on-board equipment will be used and maintained by the
successful proposer. The lease terms should be reviewed carefully by each proposer prior
to submitting a proposal, but each district is amenable to excluding maintenance services
from the final contract if it is in its interest to do so. Any exceptions to the terms and
conditions contained in the lease portion of the contract, or any other special considerations
or conditions requested or required by the proposer relative to this RFP will be enumerated
by the proposer and submitted as part of its proposal, together with an explanation as to
the reason such terms and conditions cannot be met. The final negotiated equipment lease
will be subject to review and approval by the applicable district’s legal counsel.
X. CONTRACT TERMS
Each participating district is starting with the assumption that a proposer will be interested
in taking over its full transportation operation. The proposed contract reflects that
assumption. As mentioned earlier in this document, however, each district is willing to
consider dividing up the transportation and maintenance services if it is in its interest to do
so. Each proposer should review the proposed contract carefully as is, but it could be
revised to reflect taking over only a portion of a district’s transportation services if both
parties agree to do so. Any exceptions to the terms and conditions contained in the
contract, or any other special considerations or conditions requested or required by the
proposer relative to this RFP will be enumerated by the proposer and submitted as part of
its proposal, together with an explanation as to the reason such terms and conditions
cannot be met. The final negotiated contract will be subject to review and approval by the
applicable district’s legal counsel.
Jackson County ISD – Consolidated Transportation RFP – March 2010 Page 10