A school bus company lost 9 of its 37 routes for alleged poor performance in transporting students on Monday afternoon, said superintendent Eileen Shafer.
F & A Transportation of Glen Ridge had been put on notice last Friday. School officials told the firm continued poor performance would result in swift consequences. The firm continued to perform poorly through end of Friday and Monday morning, according to the district.
School officials said the company reportedly had issues picking up students and taking them home on Thursday and Friday. The company also did not have enough drivers to cover the contracted routes. Its drivers also did not practice driving the routes before the start of the school year as required in the contract, according to the district.
“We made it clear that we would not tolerate students being late coming to school or delayed going home,” said Shafer late Monday afternoon. “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.”
F & A Transportation was contracted to cover 37 routes for $1.9 million. In a phone call with district officials, the company’s owner gave up five routes and another four were taken for poor performance.
Nine routes are valued at $477,116, according to the district. The district will go out for quotes to hire new companies to take on the routes by next Monday. School officials will take bids for the routes at the end of the month.
F & A Transportation representatives could not be reached for comments.
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Report updated at 8:30 a.m. on Sept. 10, 2019. The value of the nine routes was changed to $477,116 from $218,648.