GLOVERSVILLE - The switch to a regional transportation center has already saved the Gloversville Enlarged School District money, the school board was informed during its meeting Tuesday.
The board got an update from Patrick Michel, superintendent of HFM BOCES, on the transition to a regional transportation center for the Johnstown and Gloversville school districts.
The two districts started combining their individual transportation systems into a single center that has begun to provide services to both districts to reduce costs.
He said over the summer, the center was able to reduce the number of routes in the city by two. That will save the district approximately $70,000 per route.
"By doing this we were able to create a more effective and efficient routing system," Michel said.
Michel said both districts split the operational expenses and revenue to save the districts' money. The management and mechanics at the facility are being paid through the Hamilton-Fulton-Montgomery Board of Cooperative Educational Services.
Michel said he has held meetings with the bus drivers from both districts to clarify any concerns they had about the transition.
He said by July 1, he hopes the drivers will be unified under BOCES as well.
"All of [these changes] will save the district a great deal of money," Michel said.
Michel said the regional transportation center is looking to expand its out-of-district runs to help other schools in the area that will create a revenue source and savings for both districts.
"We are making sure it is a smooth transition and evading any fears that drivers may have," Michel said. "BOCES role in this is to make school districts as efficient and effective as possible, as well as offer quality programming."
He said with all the fiscal restraints schools are facing in the region, schools are becoming bankrupt if they don't adapt to the change coming from legislation.
He also said Gloversville has done a great job positioning itself for this change, but this should be the first step for the district in continuing to look into other ways it could regionalize in multiple areas to generate aid and improve efficiency countywide.
Michel said in the next couple of years, BOCES will look into setting up multiple regional hubs that will create a regional transportation system for the surrounding area and counties.
He said the Gloversville-Johnstown regional hub someday could include the Wheelerville and Fonda-Fultonville school districts.
"Because of the large expanse of this BOCES region, we are going to have to set up a series of regional hubs instead of having one centralized hub to take care of things," said Michel.