Local bus company picks up fourth school district

After losing a contract with Central York School District, Durham School Services is laying off 85 workers and ceasing operations at a facility in Manchester Township, according to a notice filed with the state.

But the workers – and the facility – are expected to continue serving the district under the banner of Reliance Student Transportation LLC, a bus company based in York Township.

Reliance signed a five-year contract in February with Central York, according to John Polli, Reliance’s president and CEO. He said his firm is hoping to hire all 85 workers from Durham, add about 35 employees and continue using the Durham facility, which is at 160 Morgan Lane.

Central would be the fourth York County district served by Reliance. Its buses and vans already ferry students in the Dallastown, West York and York Suburban districts.

The company will employ about 325 people once it adds staff to cover Central York, one of York County’s largest school districts, Polli said.

“At this point, we want to digest Central York,” Polli said when asked about adding other districts. “That’ll be plenty of work for us next year. We’ll see where it goes from there.”

Durham expects to wrap up operations by June 30, which is the end of its contract with Central, according to the notice, filed under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notice, or WARN, Act.

Based in Illinois, Durham is a subsidiary of National Express LLC, which is the North American subsidiary of National Express Group PLC, a transportation company in the United Kingdom.

Efforts to reach Durham were not successful. A person answering the phone at the Manchester location declined to comment.

An effort to reach a spokesperson for Central York was not successful.