NORTH JAVA — After more than 80 years of service, William G. Becker & Sons has ended its busing agreement with Attica Central School District.

Student Transportation of America, which has provided transportation services to the district for many years, will be absorbing all Becker bus routes for the upcoming school year and foreseeable future.

The decision was made more than a year ago, and thus has no relation to the ongoing COVID crisis, explained Ralph Marvin, district transportation expeditor. Instead, it was largely based on an inability to find bus drivers — a problem not at all unique to the Becker family.

“It’s a struggle to find bus drivers everywhere,” Marvin said. “All across the country. So, Brian (Becker) called me up and said he just couldn’t do it anymore.”

Becker, a spokesperson for the family-owned company, sent the district a letter dated June 3, 2019 which explained he would not be extending his contract for the 2020-21 school year. June 30 thus marked the end of the decades-long and largely positive relationship, although the company will still provide maintenance for the school-owned fleet moving forward.

Superintendent Bryce Thompson said the district is grateful for the company’s three generation’s worth of dedication to Attica students.

“We would like to thank the Becker Family for the many years of service to the Attica Central School District,” Thompson said. “And (we) wish them all the best.”

About 300 students, most of whom are primarily located in the townships of Java, Orangeville and Sheldon on the southern end of the 148-square-mile district, will be affected by the change.

These students may experience longer bus rides or different pickup and drop-off times when in-person instruction resumes, although this is not yet certain.

“We are still in the process of finalizing routes for the 2020-21 school year with STA,” explained Thompson. “Conversations are still progressing, but until the routes have been finalized and completed, we will not know how the change may impact runs.”

The same can be said for any potential impact on taxpayers, Thompson said — until routes have been finalized, there is no clear answer. Attica, and many districts like it, face looming uncertainty regarding reopening in the fall.

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