The Monroe County Community School Corp. says its transportation department is ready to go for the 2017-18 school year, despite the difficulty its new contracted fleet, Auxilio Services, is experiencing in Muncie after receiving faulty route information.
MCCSC has 90 drivers to cover its 72 in-house routes. Auxilio Services was approved in February to cover 42 routes. As of Wednesday, Auxilio had hired 32 drivers, according to transportation director Nathan Oliver. He said several more drivers were in the process of completing their testing and could be approved in the coming days. The district will meet with Auxilio today to receive updated numbers.
“We’ve worked very closely with them all summer. We’ve worked very hard to plan and prepare, so we’re confident that everything will go smoothly the first day of school and beyond,” said Chris Ciolli, director of operations for MCCSC.
This will be the first year MCCSC has worked with Auxilio or any similar large-fleet contractor. Muncie Community Schools also contracted with Auxilio for the 2017-18 school year, but their experience did not go as smoothly for reasons that appear to be the district's fault rather than the contractor's.
"Auxilio and True Consultants, besides being unfamiliar with the area, received many incorrect routes," Muncie Community Schools wrote in a statement posted to its Facebook page. "To further hamper efforts, many drivers quit just days before school started."
The Star Press in Muncie reported that transportation for the first day of school went so badly on Wednesday that Muncie Community Schools cancelled class on Thursday and Friday to work out their busing issues. Muncie is currently in the midst of a slew of financial issues, with the state threatening to take over in December if the district doesn't make progress on reducing its debt.