NEW ORLEANS — The First Student school bus transportation facility here has moved to a permanent location, after having operated out of trailers since Hurricane Katrina.
First Student faced the same challenges as other New Orleans-area businesses immediately following Katrina: finding electricity, fresh water and vendors that were still operational to help them get back on their feet and back in business.
Once the waterlogged, inoperable buses were towed away and trailers were brought in, the New Orleans team was able to reestablish the office and resume training and limited operations, said Rick Hendricks, location manager of First Student New Orleans. After that, the team could focus on getting school bus routes up and running.
"The constant challenge for our New Orleans team has been finding adequate facilities in a town that once stood 17 feet under water," Hendricks said.
The new First Student location is a former auto auction facility with 10 bays, 5,000 square feet of office space and paved parking.
Operations have grown from 30 routes after Hurricane Katrina to more than 400 routes, servicing two school districts and a dozen charter schools.