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March 27, 2012  |   Comments (0)   |   Post a comment

2012 Contractor Showcase

In this year’s showcase, regional managers and executives for some of North America’s largest school bus contractors discuss the biggest changes they have seen in their area in recent years.

by Thomas McMahon - Also by this author


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Atlantic Express operates some buses with left-side doors along one-way streets in New York City.

Atlantic Express operates some buses with left-side doors along one-way streets in New York City.

Atlantic Express Transportation Corp.
Staten Island, N.Y.

What is the biggest change you have seen in your area in recent years?

It has been another challenging year for school bus contractors. Prevailing economic conditions have tightened school budgets. Many school districts target reduction of transportation costs by increasing walking distances, cutting routes, eliminating field trips and combining runs, which are legitimate cost reductions.

Requiring school bus contractors to reduce prices, as if transporting children is a commodity, is not a legitimate reduction.  It is a service that cannot be slashed, because labor costs, insurance, fuel, maintenance, capital expenditures and a long list of other fixed and variable hard costs typically escalate. It’s unreasonable and unrealistic when school districts demand contractors to slash their prices.

Children are precious cargo, and safety is paramount. Since my company began service over 40 years ago, we have always regarded the safety of transporting children as our top priority. Recently, we invested in the latest technology in further enhancing safety and security with the installation of the GreenRoad 360 system on board our buses. We have continuous and dynamic information about each driver’s driving habits as well as vehicle movements. Our safety training programs are custom tailored to each driver’s needs. We call this precision and targeted training. Additionally, we continue to reduce exhaust emissions and fuel consumption with improved driving habits. We are proud to be ahead in the industry with our fleet-wide utilization of advanced technology.
Domenic F. Gatto
CEO and President

At Atlantic Express, safety training programs are tailored to each driver’s needs.
<p>At Atlantic Express, safety training programs are tailored to each driver’s needs.</p>

Fleet Facts
Number of school buses: 5,477
School district contracts: 185
States operating in: 5
Company head: Domenic F. Gatto, CEO and President
Website: www.atlanticexpress.com

 

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