First Student Expands in Illinois, Acquires Hopewell Transportation

NEW LENOX, Ill. — Walk First Student, North America’s leader in student transportation, today announced that it signed an agreement to acquire Hopewell Transportation. Hopewell is a Chicagoland-based provider of school transportation services for special needs students and their families.

The acquisition is expected to close by early November. Terms were not disclosed.

The organization will continue to operate under the Hopewell Transportation name. Will McDermott, Hopewell’s president, will maintain a senior leadership role in the new venture.

“Traditional transportation models are not one-size-fits-all, and Hopewell has advanced a service that meets the unique requirements of the special needs population,” said First Student President Paul Osland.

“As the largest provider of special education transportation services in North America, this is a logical step for us. Through this partnership, we intend to grow as well as learn about the special care the Hopewell team puts into transporting our most vulnerable population. We will continue to search for opportunities where we can leverage our expertise to benefit school districts, students and families.”

Hopewell Transportation started in 2011. Its fleet of more than 200 vehicles provides special-needs transportation for 20 school districts in the Chicago area.

“First Student has long been an industry leader when it comes to developing and implementing best practices for transporting special education students,” said McDermott. “Working together, we can strengthen our commitment to provide safe and reliable transportation to the districts we support and those entrusted to our care.”

Hopewell’s strength is its ability to provide cost savings to each district, plus a safe and comfortable riding experience for each student. Its operations are designed to offer school districts, parents and students a simple and efficient method to coordinate student transportation.

First Student invests heavily in specialized training and equipment to safely transport students with special needs. A dedicated team of internal experts ensures the company remains at the forefront of evolving requirements and needs.

With the acquisition, First Student is extending its market presence in Illinois. The company has 16 locations in the Chicago area. First Student transports more than 70,000 students in the community every school day.

About First Student, Inc.

As the leading school transportation solutions provider in North America, First Student strives to provide the best start and finish to every school day. First Student completes 5 million student journeys each day, moving more passengers than all U.S. airlines combined.

With a team of highly-trained drivers and the industry’s strongest safety record, First Student delivers reliable, quality services including full-service transportation and management, special-needs transportation, route optimization, scheduling, maintenance, and charter services for 1,100 school district contracts. firststudentinc.com.