Towards the end of 2017, PTA did request some quotes for temporary school bus runs. I did note that the quotes provided were extremely low and well below an equivalent ECM contract. PTA School Bus Services was aware of this and did discuss this with me as they were concerned with the low tendered prices. However, at the end of the day, they (School Bus Services) cannot intervene in the process even though they may have doubts about the sustainability of the quotes.
The process is overseen by Contracts and all they seem to look at is value for money, and in my opinion, this translates as the lowest price. When putting in a quote, please ensure that all costs have been covered and a profit margin is added (profit is not a dirty word). Quoting low prices is not doing the Industry any favours as it may be used against us as it was in 2002 by the then Minister of Transport Ms. McTiernan, who announced to Parliament that she could run the school bus industry much more cheaply if all contracts were tendered at regular intervals.
As you know, we expended a lot of blood, sweat, and tears to get the ECM and we don’t want to change this. The current Government and the bureaucrats favour tendering and make no secret about this so it is up to the Industry to make sure that what we have achieved remains.