CINCINNATI — First Student Inc. has been awarded a contract for statewide out-of-district transportation with the Rhode Island Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. The company will begin providing its services on July 1.
The three-year agreement, with an additional two-year option, includes the operation and maintenance of all out-of-district pupil transportation services for school districts across the state.
“We are excited to begin one of our most far-reaching cross-district initiatives as we implement our first statewide system of transportation for students with disabilities and for students in nonpublic schools,” said Peter McWalters, Rhode Island commissioner of elementary and secondary education. “We anticipate that during the first year of this program, school districts across Rhode Island, through efficiencies and economy of scale, will save at least $3.5 million in transportation costs. These funds can be redirected toward improvements in instruction.”
First Student will operate a fleet of 145 vehicles during the first year, with that number expected to grow to more than 250 vehicles as additional school districts are phased in over the length of the contract.