Haverhill Schools Renew Bus Contract with NRT—the Only Bidder; Fuel Costs Subject to Change

Haverhill school bus. (WHAV News file photograph.)

School administrators say a new contract to provide bus service for Haverhill students in the upcoming year will save on the cost of gas and will provide safer and more secure service.

The new contract with NRT, which was the only bidder earlier this year, provides for three years of service with two one-year renewals at the district’s option. The previous contract was for five years with the option of three two-year renewals. Assistant Superintendent Michael J. Pfifferling says because the contract was negotiated before gas prices went through the roof, it based fuel costs on a price of $3.37 for gasoline and $3.62 for diesel.

“The contractor will provide their own fuel. In addition to that, there’s a fuel escalation clause in this contract so as prices of fuel increase or decrease, so does the contract,” he says.

As for increased student security, Pfifferling listed some of the improvements to be implemented for the new school year.

“We are now going to be provided with a radio so that we can contact drivers immediately without having to go through their dispatch center. We are looking to implement a new swipe system for students when they get on or off the bus. (Our) camera system was not very reliable. The contractor is now required to put a camera system in the bus that has five camera heads instead of two,” Pfifferling explains.

The new contract, which goes into effect Aug. 1, was approved by the School Committee by a vote of 5-1 with committee member Scott W. Wood Jr. as the lone dissenting vote. Wood said he is concerned NRT has become a “monopoly” in the area.

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