Student Transportation Inc., the third-largest school bus contractor in North America, got a little bit bigger with the signing of a new five-year, $10-million contract with San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools, located east of Los Angeles. The company also announced the contracts and assets it acquired in the Atlantic Express bankruptcy have been extended.
The San Bernardino deal calls for 133 new clean-diesel school buses as well as 31 propane-autogas buses. Service is set to begin next January per an agreement with the county, said STI in a statement.
"This is a great addition to our rapidly expanding fleet in California," said Don Kissell, regional vice president of STA, a subsidiary of STI. "With the acquisition and integration of the Atlantic Express assets we acquired in February, we will have added almost 600 vehicles to our operations (in the L.A. area) for next year."
He explained that STI officials bid on the San Bernardino operation more than a year ago, but the current contract had to run its course., so they made a second bid this year.
"The January start is unusual but gives us plenty of time to properly set up our facility, bring drivers in for safety testing and perform a route optimization analysis before we take to the road following the winter break," Kissell added.
STI also said "all major contracts" that it acquired from Atlantic Express in February include 425 vehicles and approximately $26 million in annualized revenues through expanded contracts with customer Los Angeles Unified School District and new contracts with nearby Long Beach Unified.
"I'm pleased to say due to the outstanding service and smooth transition we provided, both of those customers provided key recommendations for us and renewed their contracts with us for over five years," said Kissell. "Our new drivers and staff were welcomed into our STA family. We have tremendous respect for the job they do for the schools, parents and students. It's great to be building this type of relationship with the communities in Southern California. Along with these new contracts, we plan to aggressively market our SchoolWheels fee-based transportation program to serve the many private and charter schools that need this type of dedicated service."