Appendix: Glossary of terms

How the Ministry of Education managed the 2008 national school bus transport tender process.

Definition of types of routes

More information is available from (Home > NZ Education > Our education system > Primary & Secondary Education > School Operations > School Transport > School Transport homepage > School Bus Routes).

Route: An individual school bus route. There were 2089 routes in the 2008 bus tender process.

Daily school route: These bring eligible students to school at the start of each day, and take them toward home again at the end of each day. Eligible students are children under 10 years old who live more than 3.2km away from the nearest school, and children over 10 years old who live more than 4.8km away from the nearest school, where no suitable public transport is available.

Technology route: These provide transport to another school during the day so that year seven and year eight students can study technology.

Route grouping: A collection of routes associated with one logical geographic area (such as a town or school). All routes belong to a route grouping. A route grouping could be a single route, if there is no logical link with other routes. The Ministry defined the route groupings.

Cluster: Two or more route groupings. The choice and number of route groupings in a cluster is determined by the bus operator when they submit a tender. Clusters were sometimes also called “route grouping bundles”.

Definition of types of pricing bids

Individual bids: Bids may be submitted separately for individual routes.

Fleet rate bids/pricing: Where the bus operator chooses to bid the same price for two or more routes, to offer a more cost-effective price.

Composite bids: Bids made up of the lowest price submitted by bus operators for each route in a route grouping. Composite bids were assembled by the service agents so they could make comparisons with other route grouping bids. Composite bids were not formal joint venture arrangements between bus operators.

Cluster pricing: Bus operators bid for two or more route groupings (a route grouping cluster) with a single price.

Bid filtering process for route groupings

Bid filtering process Can be fleet bids (one rate for all routes in grouping).
Feasible bids are:
  • fleet bids, and
  • composite bids (made up of lowest price submitted by bus operators for each route in the route grouping).
Acceptable bids are:
  • the lowest price feasible bid, and
  • all feasible bids that are within 10% of the lowest price bid.
The preferred bid is the acceptable bid with the lowest price and the highest qualification score.
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