Student Transportation Inc. (STI) announced that its subsidiary, Student Transportation of America, Inc. (STA), has won two new school transportation contracts in Pennsylvania. Both contracts with the Hempfield and East Penn school districts represent a switch from their current service provider.
As part of the deal, STA will provide more than 200 new, cleaner-burning propane autogas vehicles to the districts. The agreement also includes customer-paid fuel. Every vehicle in the fleet will feature state-of-the-art technology including cameras, on-board GPS and Child Check systems — all designed to increase safety and improve communication between the company, the schools and the community.
"This is a great new addition to our rapidly expanding alternative fuel program in Pennsylvania," said Tim Krise, regional vice president of STA. "Our existing customers really came out and supported our efforts, and while we were not the low-cost bid, we demonstrated in the RFP and selection process that, over the contract term, it was significantly a better value.”
The two contracts will generate $10 million in new revenue annually for the school bus contractor as of the new school year. Both are five-year agreements with the option to renew for more years.
“Currently, we have several operations in the state and this adds nicely to our regional density while leveraging our overhead and experience. We look forward to welcoming in over 200 new employees to our STA family," Krise continued.
Another branch of the STI family, SchoolWheels Direct, announced last week it would provide its comprehensive Direct-to-Parent transportation service to charter and private schools in the Charleston, S.C., area.
Now, families with students enrolled at schools serviced by SchoolWheels Direct will be able to sign up for the type of bus service they would like, choose a route, make payments and manage their account on the provider's website, www.schoolwheels.com.
The fleet servicing the area includes brand-new school buses that feature air conditioning, on-board GPS, video camera systems and other technology that enhances safety and efficiency. Parents of student riders can purchase the company’s SafeStop app, which enables them to securely track the status of their child's bus along its route to and from school every day.
"When parent groups in the area reached out and spoke to us, it became clear that they were looking for the safest vehicles and an easy system to sign up and pay. So our mission for this coming year is to provide the Greater Charleston Area with state-of-the-art vehicles and give more parents the safety and customer service they deserve,” said Robert Scholer, director of sales, who is leading the Charleston launch.
Working with various schools and organizations, the company plans to announce new agreements for home-to- school service as well as for athletic trips and other activities in coming weeks, Scholer added.
Denis Gallagher, CEO of STI, noted that South Carolina is known for having what may be the oldest school bus fleet in the nation and an antiquated school transportation system — so the area is ripe for change.
“While the state legislature continues to grapple with these issues and a ‘pilot program’ still under review since 1992, which has yet to be proven successful, it is time we answer the call for quality service with new state-of-the-art equipment, new technology, and customer service,” Gallagher said.
The third largest bus contractor in North America, STI provides transportation for more than one million students throughout 17 of the United States and in Canada.