Two anthrax scares
The pupil transportation industry has not been immune from terrorist alerts. In September, an anthrax scare forced the evacuation of the Washington, D.C., headquarters of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. And in late October, another anthrax scare forced the evacuation of American Transportation’s Conway, Ark., school bus manufacturing plant. Both scares turned out to be just that.
Landis in new venture
Sherri Landis, former executive director of the Pennsylvania School Bus Association (PSBA), is again working in the school transportation industry. Landis, who resigned from her PSBA post earlier this year, is working in acquisitions for a start-up venture called Student Xpress. The company is seeking to acquire school bus companies in Pennsylvania and is financed by the likes of Terry Thomas (Community Bus Services in Youngstown, Ohio), Pete Settle (Petermann LLC in Cincinnati) and John Corr and Tim Flood (The Trans Group in Chestnut Ridge, N.Y.).
First Student’s strong half
Cincinnati-based First Student Inc., North America’s second-largest school bus contractor, showed a strong 12 percent growth in the first half of 2001, helping its parent company, FirstGroup PLC, exceed analysts’ profit projections. However, FirstGroup, headquartered in London, saw its operating profit fall by 13 percent compared to the same period in 2000.