Lateness causes Paterson to reprimand school bus companyPosted: Updated:
The Paterson school superintendent says she is fed up with a school bus company’s lateness and she is taking action to make sure it does not happen again.
The Paterson School District has a contract with Glen Ridge-based F&A Transportation. Superintendent Eileen Shafer says that for the past three school days, students have been arriving late to school and late to come home.
"If your child didn't get home when they were expected to get home, you would think that they were missing and that's what some of our parents thought,” Shafer says.
Shafer says that when the buses were late on Friday, she put the company on notice.
“I could not continue to have children [90 minutes], two hours late,” she says.
Shafer says that when the buses were late again on Monday, it was the last straw. The district pulled four of the company’s routes. F&A Transportation gave up five more. The nine routes are just over $477,000 of a $1.9 million contract.
“[The owner] bid on the specifications, he knew exactly what he was getting into,” says Shafer.
Shafer says practicing the routes was part of the contract. But she says that the drivers were confused and lost, leaving her to phone the worried parents.
“I had my transportation department call, I called parents, I emailed parents. I get right back to them because I know how important their children are to them. They're that important to me as well."
The superintendent says that the next step is to put out bids to other bus companies. She says that she hopes to get a new company on those routes by Friday. F&A Transportation will continue to operate on the routes until a new company is selected.
F&A Transportation did not respond to requests for comment on the situation.
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