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Committee To Investigate After-School Bus Program In Westport

First Selectman Jim Marpe announced the creation of a committee to review the FTA's decision to rule an after-school bus program non-compliant with federal regulations.
First Selectman Jim Marpe announced the creation of a committee to review the FTA's decision to rule an after-school bus program non-compliant with federal regulations. Photo Credit: File Photo

WESTPORT, Conn. – A temporary committee will review the impact of the Federal Transit Authority’s recent ruling regarding Westport’s after-school shuttle bus program provided by the Norwalk Transit District.

In August, the Federal Transit Authority determined that Westport’s transit program must cease operations because its structure was not compliant with federal regulations.

First Selectman Jim Marpe successfully appealed this ruling and granted the Westport Transit District a short-term exemption to continue offering after-school shuttle service until Jan. 1.

“We were very disappointed that after 30 years of operation, our program was defunded on short notice by the federal government, just before the start of school,” said Marpe. “However, we are appreciative that our appeal was listened to and that the parents and programs that use this service were not immediately left without the service that they were depending on for this fall.

"Now that we have a little time to plan, I have created a committee of Westporters with the requisite knowledge and understanding to review this situation and to advise me on how we best proceed after Jan. 1.

“This group includes individuals knowledgeable with regard to transportation operations, federal regulations, financial funding, after-school program needs and parental concerns.”

The committee’s mission includes reviewing the details that deemed the current routes non compliant and examining the feasibility of restructuring them to meet federal standards.

The committee is expected to report back to the first selectman with their findings and recommendations by mid-November.

Committee members include Dewey Loselle, Westport director of operations; Jennifer Johnson, Westport transit director; and Karen Klein, of the Board of Education.

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