The school bus industry could soon have one of its own walking the halls of the New York State Senate, and not be behind the scenes.
As recent as two years ago, Mike Martucci was the owner and president of Quality Bus Service, Inc., and serving as the president of the New York School Bus Contractor’s Association. On Thursday, he formally announced his candidacy for the state senate. He also set up a candidate website.
“I’ve been traveling throughout the district for the last few months meeting with friends and neighbors, and the common theme I am hearing is that people feel New York state is headed in the wrong direction and our current state senator is out of touch with the needs of the people of the 42nd senate district,” said the 34-year-old Martucci in a statement on Thursday. “And this is why I have decided to run for New York state senate.”
Martucci will oppose first-term Sen. Jen Metzger in the Nov. 3 election. If elected, he would become the first school bus contractor elected to the New York State Senate.
A spokesman said Martucci is running on conservative Republican and Independent party lines.
Martucci is no stranger to the state capital of Albany. He has worked on over two-dozen pieces of school bus legislation, including a new law that authorizes school districts to install stop-arm video cameras. Another adds school bus safety awareness to the state pre-licensing driver’s education course. Both were signed into effect last year.
He also worked on a bipartisan law signed in 2011 that disqualifies a school bus driver-applicant who was previously convicted of sexual assault on a child.
School Transportation News selected Martucci as one of the magazine’s “Millenial Stars” in the October 2016 edition. Now known as “Rising Stars,” the feature profiles up-and-coming student transporters who are heralded by their local operations as leaders.
After graduating from Marist College, a 22-year-old Martucci started Quality Bus in 2007. Prior to that, he was a school bus salesman to districts and bus companies in New York’s Hudson Valley Region. He quickly became known around the state as “the school bus guy.”
In 2018, Martucci sold Quality Bus to National Express but remained on staff to oversee day-to-day operations.
Quality bus transports about 7,000 K-12 students daily to school and back home, as well as another 8,000 junior college students.