School bus procurement

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

Level of compliance Main audience Other



  • Suppliers
  • School boards
  • Principals and tumuaki

About school bus procurement

New daily bus and technology bus contracts began in Term 1 2022. These contracts service approximately 1,450 daily bus routes and 650 technology routes.

The contracts are for an initial term of 6 years with two 3-year rights of renewal.

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.

List of daily and technology school bus providers

The following list is from April 2023.

It is not a complete list of bus providers as it excludes direct resourced bus services provided by schools, transport provided by Māori-medium schools, and urban public transport services provided by regional authorities.

Information about the current contracts

Two-tender procurement approach 

The procurement for Ministry provided bus services was conducted through an innovative 2-tender approach between July 2020 and May 2021.

This approach was taken to ensure opportunities for smaller, regional suppliers and enable fair access to government contracts for suppliers of all sizes while delivering the benefits of market competition.

Tender 1 made approximately 10% of individual routes available for award and allowed smaller regional suppliers to compete for routes appropriate to their capacity while supporting their local communities.

Tender 2 was designed for larger transport providers and offered all remaining routes in groups.

Request for proposal and evaluation process

The request for proposal (RFP) for tender 1 was published on GETS on 9 July 2020 and submissions closed on 28 August 2020.

The RFP for tender 2 was released on 7 December 2020 and submissions closed on 29 January 2021.

The evaluation criteria and process are described in detail in the RFP for each tender. You can access both documents here:

Tenders were awarded on the basis of public value, which considers quality, price and broader outcomes, rather than cost alone. Broader outcomes take into account economic, cultural, environmental and social benefits that can be achieved through the procurement.

Contract award

Tender 1 contracts were awarded in December 2020 and Tender 2 contracts were awarded in May 2021.

Information on successful suppliers is available on GETS:

Probity and assurance

The procurement process was overseen by an independent probity auditor and reviewed, audited and assured by independent legal, procurement and transport experts.

You can read the final reports prepared by the probity auditor here:

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