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HomePartner UpdatesPartnership Helped Penn. School District Replace Aging Fleet, Created New Efficiencies

Partnership Helped Penn. School District Replace Aging Fleet, Created New Efficiencies

Since Upper Merion Area School District began offering transportation to their students, they have managed the operation on their own. That was until Dr. John Toleno was hired as superintendent in 2016.

Many district personnel and parents had concerns about contracting student transportation to a third party. They had questions like, “What will happen to our employees?”, “What about our fleet?” and “Who will be driving my child to school?”

Through close communication and a strong partnership, Dr. Toleno and First Student were able to reassure them through reliable service and cost savings for the district.

“One of the misbeliefs for what happens when you outsource to a transportation company is that the drivers don’t have their pensions anymore with the state but the other benefits that the drivers pick up and the amount of training and the amount of maintenance on the equipment is really what they gain and, in a lot of cases, they gain salary increases and they gain other benefits – in some cases, better health benefits.”

– Dr. John Toleno, Superintendent, Upper Merion Area School District (Penn.)

A large challenge for the district was its struggle to provide drivers with increased wages due to state funding and tax revenue reductions. The district also needed increased safety and reliability – getting their students to school consistently, with better equipment, new buses and an efficient on-the-road operation.

First Student met with the district numerous times to discuss its needs and set expectations. Together, they addressed the district’s top priorities, implementing a significant increase to driver wages, matching medical benefits, providing newer buses to replace their aging fleet, enhancing their safety and training programs as well as implementing industry-leading technology: FirstView bus tracking, DriverScore onboard technology and DriverHub tablets.

“I don’t think we should be in the business of transporting kids because I think there are companies out there, First Student being the top of my list, for what you can do for kids and what you can bring logistically to a school district.”

– Dr. John Toleno, Superintendent, Upper Merion Area School District (Penn.)

The value that a First Student partnership brings to a school district is more than just cost reduction. Our partnerships provide:

  • Confidence that you will have clean and well-maintained buses
  • Courteous and well-trained drivers using industry-leading technology
  • Your students arrive safe, on time, and ready to reach their goals
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