Westborough schools remain unhappy with NRT

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Westborough schools remain unhappy with NRT
A school bus sits in near Solomon Pond mall. Westborough school officials recently said they continued to have issues with their transportation provider, NRT. (Photo/Maureen Sullivan)

WESTBOROUGH – Westborough Public Schools is still not happy with its bus transportation provider, NRT.

Nearly six months after voicing frustration with NRT for not providing enough buses and a lack of communication, the problems with NRT still persist, according to Anita Pal, the new director of finance and administration for WPS.

“We have a lot of issues with NRT,” said Pal in an update to the School Committee during its Aug. 28 meeting.

These issues include having 25 buses available for transporting students, instead of the 27 contracted; not having a dedicated dispatch NRT representative to help resolve problems and a “lack of responsiveness,” Pal said.

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Pal said that WPS staffers need to send several emails before getting a response from NRT.

Pal was told by NRT that it is still dealing with a lack of drivers. Although it has potential drivers in training, the company could not guarantee that any of the drivers would be assigned to Westborough.

Pal and WPS Superintendent Amber Bock said they are working with an attorney on a letter detailing the company’s violations with its WPS contract, now in its fourth year of a five-year deal.

Should these problems remain unresolved, NRT could be excluded when the bus contract comes up for bid, according to Bock.

Last May, drivers affiliated with Teamsters Local 170 went on strike in Marlborough; they reached a settlement with NRT after three days. Drivers in Westborough remained on the job; they have since decided to not be part of the union for at least one year.

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