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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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First Student Inc.

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

With the reduction of state funding, all of our school districts are looking for ways to cut costs without sacrificing safety. First Student has seen this as an opportunity to work even more closely with our partners to identify savings so they have more resources to bring into the classroom.
Chris Pedde
Area General Manager, South Region

One of the biggest changes I have seen involves technology and how it has improved safety. First Student is an industry leader. Our buses are equipped with the latest safety features, including technology such as Child Check-Mate andZonar GPS. We continue to build upon our safety culture with innovative programs and the latest equipment.
Colin Michael
Area General Manager, Atlantic Region 



I have noticed that school districts have become increasingly more cost conscious. I am grateful First Student is responding with the means to control cost while also providing the highest level of safe, reliable and efficient transportation. We are able to capture the savings and ultimately pass them along to our school districts. We are able to help them create value by putting more of their budget directly into the schools.
Michael A. Shedor
Area General Manager, Central Region



Many school districts that may have been hesitant to partner with a transportation provider are now looking at using First Student as a way to bring more resources back into the classroom without sacrificing safety. Our economies of scale provide access to new parts, fuel, buses, etc. at rates an individual district is unable to realize. In many cases, a school district can upgrade or replace an aging fleet with new buses without making the capital investment.
Scott Turney
Area General Manager, Great Lakes Region

Due to state funding concerns, school districts are feeling the need to look at all cost-cutting measures, including route reductions, reducing service days and putting business out for bid. So we work closely with our partners to identify savings so they can funnel the resources back into the classroom without sacrificing safety.
Van Criddle
Area General Manager, Northwest Region

Fleet Facts
Number of school buses: 57,400
School district contracts: 1,500
Operating in: 38 states, 9 Canadian provinces
Company head: Linda Burtwistle, President

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