PATERSON, NJ - Making good on her promise that Paterson Public Schools “would not tolerate students being late coming to school or delayed going home,” Superintendent of Schools Eileen F. Shafer announced Monday that F & A Transportation, Inc. of Glen Ridge would be operating nine fewer routes serving city children.
According to a statement issued by Shafer the company was contracted to cover 37 routes for $1.9 million. While the company gave up five of the routes an additional four were removed. The nine routes are valued at $477,116.
The statement continued to say that Shafer and other district officials had put the company on notice last Friday, letting company officials know that continued poor performance would result in swift corrective actions by the district. However, the company continued to exhibit poor performance through the end of the day on Friday and this morning.
Failure to pick up students and excessive delays in bringing them home were among the most reported issues on Thursday and Friday of last week. The district’s transportation officials also reported that the company did not have enough drivers to cover the routes for which they were contracted, and the company’s drivers did not practice driving the routes before the school year started, as is required in the contract.
“We have thousands of students who need to be reliably transported every day. If a company isn’t ensuring that are students can get to where they need to be safely and efficiently, we are going to find a company that can,” Shafer promised.
The district is expected go out for quotes and have new companies in place by Monday, September 16. At the end of the month, the district will go out to bid.
* Updated to reflect revised value of lost routes.
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