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February 17, 2010  |   Comments (3)   |   Post a comment

STA offers 'stimulus plan' to school districts


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WALL, N.J. — Student Transportation of America (STA) has launched a $100-million "Education Stimulus Plan" designed to provide school districts across America with capital to invest back into education when they contract their school bus transportation services to STA.

"We will pay cash for district-owned school transportation fleets and replace older buses with new, state-of-the-art, environmentally-friendly vehicles," said Denis Gallagher, STA chairman and CEO. "This creates real jobs for our domestic vehicle manufacturers and provides a cleaner, safer environment for our students and our communities."

The company said it will hire existing and local drivers with competitive compensation packages as well as purchase equipment and supplies from local merchants.

"Nearly 10,000 school districts in the U.S. currently own and operate their own school bus fleets, so our Education Stimulus Plan is specifically designed for them," Gallagher said. "We're asking local and state officials who are struggling with tight budgets to consider our plan."
 
In Pennsylvania, the Altoona Area School District converted all of its district-owned student transportation service to a contracted operation with STA in 2006.

Of the conversion Superintendent Dr. Dennis Murray said, "STA purchased our fleet and parts inventory with cash. They pay rent for our facilities and parking, creatively helped keep our full-time staff and their compensation packages and hired the majority of our former drivers to create a seamless transition. We absolutely feel that we made the right decision to privatize our pupil transportation system."

STA said it recently completed a similar "stimulus plan" for taxpayers in Williamsport, Pa., which local school officials said will save residents $3.5 million over five years. The company purchased the district's fleet for $1 million, invested an additional $1 million in new vehicles and hired 90 percent of the district's existing drivers and staff.  Conversions were also completed in Illinois and California.

"These are trying times, and creative ideas are needed to keep our education system funded," Gallagher said. "Our plan lowers costs, stimulates the economy and increases tax revenues."

For more information on the STA Education Stimulus Plan, e-mail [email protected], call (888) 942-2250 or visit www.rideSTA.com.


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The plan looks great on paper,but when you contract your transportation out you loose in quite a few areas. Look at everything carefully. 1) You loose control of your fleet. You pay for every mile the buses go and anything above the daily runs is extra, field trips,athletic trips,sick child etc. 2) you will save money the first few years until you have no choice but to contract. After that the disticts could not afford to get their fleet back and get the transportation department back up and running. 3)It is like leasing a bus, looks great on paper but in reality you end up paying for the bus more than twice. There are so many negatives about contracting. Look at the big picture not the short term.Dont just do it because it is aideable eventually that will dry up too.

Jack Jones    |    Feb 22, 2010 05:16 AM

It's not a school stimulus plan, it's a stimulus plan for STA to get more business. They buy the school's buses for a fraction of what they are worth then the school spends the money. If it doesn't work out then the school has no money to purchase their buses back from the company or buy new equipment. The people who worked for the school lose their benefits, pensions and sometimes their jobs to these scab companies like STA and First Student.

Dave    |    Feb 22, 2010 04:43 AM

I would be interested in hearing the drivers input on this. Did the wages stay the same or change?

Lynette Russell    |    Feb 19, 2010 12:57 PM

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