The Federal Transit Authority recently ruled Westport’s after-school bus service as an unauthorized use of public funds. And now, with just days remaining before the start of school, there’s still no town answer on how to transport these students.
But one after-school program is taking action.
Earthplace says it will provide private transporation for its After-school Enrichment Program. It’s a relatively new program, which promised to include transporation for all students in attendance. And now, despite the sour news regarding the Norwalk Transit District, Earthplace Executive Director Tony McDowell says the organization will still live up to that promise, fully funding the rides without placing the burden on the customers.
Funding for the after-school bus service, operated by the Norwalk Transit District, was cancelled in July when the FTA deemed those routes to be non compliant with federal transit regulations. They say the bus lines are similar to a school bus service.
In a statement released by Selectman Jim Marpe, he says it is unlikely anything will be resolved with the FTA before the start of the school year, but he remains hopeful the service can be restored.
Right now two hundred families and up to several hundred students remain impacted. Meanwhile, the school clock is ticking with classes set to begin on Monday.