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Charlotte Amalie
Sunday, June 26, 2022


School bus service for St. Croix public school students resumed Tuesday morning after the bus contractor was paid by the V.I. government Monday evening.
Abramson Enterprises Inc. refused to send its fleet of buses out Monday to pick up students because the government was in arrears. By Monday evening, June Archibald, spokeswoman for the Department of Education, said a check was being hand-delivered to Abramson Enterprises by St. Croix Administrator Rupert Ross.
Archibald didn’t comment on the amount of money owed to the company. Rupert Abramson Jr. didn’t immediately return a call Tuesday morning but an employee of the company confirmed bus service had resumed.
Over the last few years, Abramson has withheld service on at least two other occasions in order to force payment.
The bus company and the government are feuding, emanwhile, over bus service for special-education students. At the end of November the Department of Education announced that transportation for those students, which was being provided by Abramson Enterprises, was being discontinued.
Education officials advised parents to find alternative means of transport, such as taxis, and then submit reciepts to the department for reimbursement.
According to Ralph Mandrew, who represents bus drivers as president of the V.I. Workers Union, the government hasn’t paid the company for busing the special-education students since August. Because of that, the company has pulled its buses, said Mandrew. The result, he said, is that 12 drivers were laid off.
"The special-ed buses were taken off the road because of no government payment," Mandrew said. "It has grown to serious proportions."

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