Jackson School District Hires Jay’s Bus Service for Lakewood Private School Routes

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JACKSON TOWNSHIP, NJ – During a special meeting of the Jackson Township Board of Education on June 2nd, the district awarded a contract for busing students to private schools in Lakewood Township to Jay’s Bus Service.

The contract value was not released publicly at this time. Shore News Network has requested copies of the contract and terms via the Open Public Records act from the district but has not yet received a response.

Jay’s Bus Service was awarded contracts for 24 routes to provide Jackson Township children with transportation to several private schools across Lakewood.

That is good news for the hundreds of private school students living in Jackson that require transportation to Lakewood religious schools.

The schools include The Lakewood Cheder, Bais Faga, Ohr Hatorah, Ohr Yehuda, Shagas Aryeh, Tora Zev, Bais Tova, Bnos Bracha, Bnos Devorah, Bnos Melech, Meoros, Talmud Torah of Lakewood and Even Yisroel.

Many of the children in those schools will receive bus service from Jackson Township public school district. The district will be notifying families in the coming day of bus schedules and availability.

Jackson Township resident Mordechai Burnstein, a political ally of Mayor Michael Reina has been instrumental, in conjunction with the Mayor himself, in ensuring all students in Jackson are afforded public school bussing opportunities as the growing need to bus children out of the district becomes a problem to tackle for the school district as enrollment continues to decline in the district due to more students attending school in Lakewood in recent years.

In May, Jackson Mayor Michael Reina lashed out at township residents after news of the deal for private routes was made public. Mayor Michael Reina applauded the move by the school district and scolded town residents who objected at a recent council meeting.

“If these children were any other children who didn’t have busing, would you feel the same way?” the mayor asked. “These are all children of Jackson. I don’t care what religion or color dey [They] are. I don’t care what bus they take. I care that they get to school safely. You don’t have to like it. I don’t have to make you happy.”

In 2019, the Star-Ledger identified Jay’s Bus Service as a company with a ‘troubling safety record‘.

“Jay’s buses have been in 78 accidents since November 2015 — the highest crash total of any private bus company in New Jersey. The company has double the average crash rate of all bus companies that operate in the state, transportation records show,” Nj.com reported.

“Jay’s is the worst,” said Michele Bianco, a Howell resident during that report whose son rode a Jay’s bus to school. He’s taken other contracted bus services before, too, but with Jay’s, “they fly … they speed,” she said. “They wait until the last minute to put the reds on and you have to slam on your brakes.”

“Jay’s has maintained one of the worst inspection records among large bus companies in New Jersey, failing more than three-quarters of its inspections, state data showed. Mechanics say the buses are full of old, broken parts. Inspection records revealed the company has been cited several dozen times for leaks and bald tires,” the report said.