Brendan Fitzpatrick

October 20, 2023

Sisitsky: School Bus Drivers Could Become City Employees

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FRAMINGHAM - During the Framingham City Council meeting on Tuesday, October 17, Mayor Charlie Sisitsky said that there is a possibility that school bus drivers could become city employees in the future.

Students and families are continuing to feel the impact of bus driver shortages as the fall continues. Framingham’s contracted partner, NRT Bus, Inc., began the school year last month with 57 drivers ready to serve the city—20 short of what their deal had called for. NRT has attributed the shortages to increased recruitment competition within the industry as well as the company’s standards in evaluating candidates partially as reasons behind the trouble, though Framingham school officials have also addressed their complaints and reservations to NRT.

Mayor Sisitsky told officials on Tuesday that he is still in contact with the administration of Framingham Public Schools in an attempt to find fixes to the problem.

“I don’t think any of the solutions are going to be short-term, but we are looking at different options,” Sisitsky said.

One of those options, Sisitsky explained, is bringing the operations in-house by hiring bus drivers as city employees. However, he added that it’s not as easy as adding those employees to the payroll.

“That would require us to purchase buses or lease buses,” Sisitsky continued, “which would take a while because buses aren’t readily available.”

Other potential avenues to alleviate the bus shortages recently proposed by the Framingham School Committee include a carpool vendor.

Executive Director of Finance and Operations for Framingham Public Schools Lincoln Lynch has been tasked with looking into the possibility of brining bus drivers onto the city’s payroll.

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