FRAMINGHAM – The Framingham School Committee gave its approval tonight, January 20, for a new bus company for students attending the public school district.
The district has had a rocky relationship with Durham over the last 5-year contract, with late buses and no buses for athletics at times.
The Framingham Public Schools recently requested bids for a 5-year bus contract through June 30, 2026. There were just two bidders – Durham and NRT Bus Inc.
Durham submitted a bid of $37.137 million with new buses and $35.356 million with used buses.
But the lowest bidder was NRT Bus with new buses and a contract of $30.499 million
“After review of NRT Bus, Inc’s references and partners over the past ten years, I am confident that NRT Bus, Inc can provide the services our District requires. My recommendation is to award NRT Bus Inc. a five year contract worth $30,499,970 that would begin July 1, 2021 and end June 30, 2026,” wrote Framingham Public Schools Executive Director of Finance and Operations Lincoln Lynch IV in a memo to the School Committee.
“Financially it is a really smart move,” said Lynch to the School Committee tonight about the bid from MRT
“The year one contract price NRT Bus Inc. proposed would result in a savings in the transportation budget of $115,184 planned for FY22. NRT Bus Inc. will provide the District with 78 school buses with drivers that will transport students to and from school. NRT Bus Inc. will also provide transportation for late bus runs and extracurricular runs (athletics and field trips). I look forward to a collaborative and effective partnership with NRT Bus Inc,” wrote Lynch.
“Every person I spoke to said (NRT) provides the services they sat they are going to,” said Lynch.
‘This would not have happen without your leadership,” said School Committee Chair Adam Freudberg to Lynch.
Framingham Public Schools currently contracts with Van Pool, which is now part of NRT Bus Inc., for its Special Education transportation needs.
” The experience we have had with VanPool for the last two years has been nothing short of excellent,” wrote Lynch.
NRT currently services the following school districts or collaborative: Andover Public Schools, Chelmsford Public Schools, Dracut Public Schools, Georgetown Schools, Greater Lawrence Technical School, Greater Lowell Vocational, Lawrence Public Schools, Lowell Public Schools, Lynn Public Schools, Marlborough Public Schools, Masconomet Regional School District, Methuen Public Schools, North Andover Public Schools, Salem Public Schools, SEEM Collaborative, Triton Regional School District, Tri-Town School Union, Wakefield Public Schools and Wilmington Public Schools.
“I will move to request the contract to be added to a February City Council agenda and seek their approval,” said Lynch.
Under Massachusetts law, a contract for supplies or services with a term of more than three years needs legislative approval.