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October 09, 2012  |   Comments (9)   |   Post a comment

Atlantic Express’ Domenic Gatto to retire

Domenic Gatto, founder and CEO of Atlantic Express Transportation Corp., will step down on Dec. 31, 2013, after more than 40 years in the business.

Domenic Gatto, founder and CEO of Atlantic Express Transportation Corp., will step down on Dec. 31, 2013, after more than 40 years in the business.

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Domenic Gatto, founder and CEO of Atlantic Express Transportation Corp., will retire on Dec. 31, 2013, after more than 40 years in the industry.

Forty-two years ago, a 21-year-old Gatto began driving a school bus for a small company based in Staten Island. He soon worked in the company’s administrative office between bus runs, and within two years, he purchased the company and became its owner.

At the time, the company had a 16-bus contract with the New York City school district. In 1979, Gatto asked his three brothers to join him in the business, and the company underwent a period of rapid growth. Today, Atlantic Express operates more than 5,000 vehicles in five states.

In 1998, Gatto and his brothers sold Atlantic Express to Greenwich Street Capital Partners. Gatto agreed to remain CEO of Atlantic Express for three years after the sale, but that turned into 13 years.  

Now, Gatto — who will be 64 in February — has decided to step down from his post at Atlantic Express.

“It will be difficult to finally step down from the helm at Atlantic, but it is time for me to spend more time with my beautiful wife, my three children and nine grandchildren,” Gatto said. “I want to sincerely thank the more than 10,000 drivers, escorts, mechanics and support staff that helped and supported this company, as well as the hundreds of school districts and school administrators that have worked so well with us over the last 42 years.”

Gene Davis, Atlantic Express’ chairman, said that Gatto is a “longstanding leader in the school bus industry and has earned the right to enjoy a full and joyful retirement. His commitment and service was greatly valued and will be sorely missed.”

Officials said that Gatto believed in giving back to the school districts the company served. Under his leadership, the company contributed thousands of dollars in scholarships for special-needs students, and to charities such as Emergency Children’s Help Organization, the Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide, Cooley’s Anemia Foundation, Deborah Hospitals, Hope for the Warriors and Disabled American Veterans.

Officials said that Atlantic Express will soon begin searching for Gatto’s replacement as CEO. Once the new CEO is in place, Gatto will serve as a consultant to Atlantic Express.

Other news on Atlantic Express:

Firm provides financing for Atlantic Express bus purchase

Atlantic Express buys 25 Collins propane buses

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Mr Gatto, nothing to complain about even I'm jobless since you left the industry but, I do have to remember Nov 1st, of 2000 your company did open the door of opportunity in order for me to make a living with my family. Your business has been great and there will been no next one. I miss you in the school bus. May God continue to bless you an your family.😃😃😃😃❤️❤️❤️❤️

Marie    |    Nov 15, 2014 04:48 PM

Thanks Mr.Gatto for giving me a chance to work at your company. Please keep in mind when you get another bus company please give me another chance. Thanks matron

shawanna    |    Jan 29, 2014 04:26 PM

What a crook! Left with employees money, how do you sleep @ night! may God hve mercy on your soul.

lala    |    Dec 14, 2013 05:39 PM

yes ! mr domenick gatto ! how do i get in touch with you ? i tried to come and see you at the north st. depot, but your security wouldnt let me in.....there are things you should know thats going on that your people working for you are stopping me from telling u.........

janet    |    May 16, 2013 06:26 PM

please do something about whats going on at the mcdonald ave shop...leonard huffmire hired a guy named duval dupuy as a foreman to control the mcdonald ave shop, and this guy was fired from the company in 1993 for stealing gasoline......why did leonard huffmire re-hire him after knowing he was fired for stealing gasoline, and or that matter , stealing from the company ?????????

janet    |    May 16, 2013 06:21 PM

Please do something about the speeding drivers on Meredith Ave who continually disobey traffic regulations and really should arrive and depart the garage via South Ave ( a commerial route).

concerned parent    |    Mar 08, 2013 12:51 PM

Dear Mr. Gatto, I have been an employee of Atlantic Express for 18 years and would like to wish you a healthy and happy retirement. You have been the last Gatto holdout with our company and you will be missed. My best wishes to you and your family. Sincerely, Catherine DiMartini

Catherine DiMartini    |    Jan 30, 2013 06:41 AM

Mr. Dominic Gatto, I would like to wish you a fulfilled and wonderful retirement. Enjoy your golden years to the fullest, with your family and friends, in addition to all the great things that life has to offer. I thank you so much for expanding your company as I became your employee. It has been 26 years that I have had the fortune to be working for Atlantic Express. I started as a matron, went on to become a driver, and now have added 19-A Instructor to my title. I have enjoyed all these positions tremendously, and G-d knows how much I love my co-workers, they are like family to me, and they all mean the world to me. I do understand that everything comes to an end, and you will move forward with your retirement. May G-d grant you health, happiness and may you accomplish all that your heart desires. G-d Bless, Sincerely, Lillian Mercado

Lillian Mercado    |    Jan 29, 2013 06:28 PM

The gatto family had been good to their workers, especially Michael Gatto who passed away a few years ago. It will truly the end of an era when Domenic Gatto leaves and I guess he couldn't have picked a better time with the workers close to loosing their EPP. I would hope that before Mr. Gatto leaves he atleast tries to take care of the senior drivers of 15 years and over and at least find a way to offer them an early retirement since it seems that without the EPP clause they are the ones to loose most in the coming city bid. Please Mr. Gatto see what you can do to help the workers that have always been there for Atlantic Express and that need your help now.

Sam    |    Jan 26, 2013 12:11 PM

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