School Bus Procurement

Information and updates relating to the procurement of new daily bus and technology bus services.

Ministry of Education is the second largest provider of passenger services in New Zealand. This includes:

  • managing approximately 7,000 vehicle journeys each school day
  • carrying 40 million passenger journeys each year
  • assisting over 100,000 students safely to and from school every day
  • managing contracts for around 70 transport providers for bus services, specialised transport, and ferry services.

Procurement of future bus services

The current daily bus and technology bus contracts expire on 31 December 2021. These contracts service approximately 1,500 Daily Bus routes and 700 Technology routes.

For the first time in 12 years, school bus services will be procured for the Ministry’s daily and technology bus services. The procurement will be conducted via two tenders between July 2020 and May 2021. Tender 1 was open from 9 July – 28 August, and will offer for award approximately 10% of individual routes, allowing small regional suppliers to compete on routes that meet their capacity while supporting their local communities. Once Tender 1 contracts are awarded in November 2020, Tender 2 will open and give larger suppliers access to the remaining 90% of routes, allowing them to compete for bundles of routes.  

The Ministry will award routes based on best public value, which means considering quality, price and broader outcomes, rather than solely on cost. Broader outcomes take into account economic, cultural, environmental and social benefits that can be achieved through this procurement.

Contracts will be in place to deliver services from Term 1, 2022, for a 12 year term.

School Bus Procurement Fact Sheet  [PDF, 465 KB]

Two Tender Procurement Timeline [PDF, 99 KB]

This page will be updated with more information as our procurement progresses.

Further information

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