A competitive bid process last fall revealed that the Bay Area's high cost of labor combined with the ever-increasing demand for drivers (public transit, school buses, private businesses and tech companies) will result in significant increases in the cost of school bus transportation. The LSBTA has been largely insulalted from these market forces due to previously low, locked-in rates under the current contract. However, the LSBTA is now facing a 41% cost of services increase over the next five years.
Current parent fees provide only 30% of the annual operating revenue for the school bus program. Measure J, a 1/2 percent sales tax in Contra Costa County, provides the remaining 70%. However, Measure J funds are projected to flatten out over the next two years.
The LSBTA must increase parent fees AND reduce the number of buses it runs in order to survive financially.