17. After the regular period of classes has begun and before proceeding with public tenders to meet new transportation requirements that were not anticipated at the beginning of that period, a service centre or an educational establishment, notwithstanding sections 13 to 16, is authorized to negotiate a contract by agreement with a carrier with which it had contracted the preceding school year.
The contract so negotiated may not result in an increase in the total number of buses and minibuses required from that carrier in relation to the preceding school year, except:
(1) where the contract is for the transportation of handicapped students or for the transportation of students with social maladjustments and learning disabilities and that transportation must be provided by means of a bus or a minibus adapted to such transportation;
(2) where the contract is granted for a period not exceeding 40 days and may not be renewed;
(3) where the contract takes effect only from the first day of December following the beginning of the regular period of classes; or
(4) where the contract provides for the addition of 1 vehicle only and has been previously offered on the same conditions to any carrier whose contract for a bus or a minibus was cancelled during the preceding school year or was not renewed for a reason not related to the quality of service.