Dean Transportation recently marked 50 years in the pupil transportation industry. Shown here is Kellie Dean, president of Dean Transportation, speaking at a back-to-school event hosted by the company in August. Photo courtesy Dean Transportation

Dean Transportation recently marked 50 years in the pupil transportation industry. Shown here is Kellie Dean, president of Dean Transportation, speaking at a back-to-school event hosted by the company in August. Photo courtesy Dean Transportation

LANSING, Mich. — Dean Transportation recently celebrated 50 years of providing school transportation to students and their families.

With more than 2,400 employees and 46 locations, Dean Transportation serves a number of school districts and public transit agencies throughout the state of Michigan. (The company occupies the No. 11 spot on School Bus Fleet’s 2019 Top Contractors list.)

“We are extremely proud to have been an integral part of communities throughout Michigan for the past 50 years,” said Kellie Dean, president of the company. “We have worked hard during the past half-century to provide safe and reliable transportation to and from school for 80,000 students every school day. We are committed to further serving our communities and look forward to transporting the children and grandchildren of today’s passengers in the future.”

Initially begun as a station wagon service that transported individuals affected by polio to and from Lansing area schools in the 1950s, the company was incorporated in 1969 as Special Transportation by former Michigan State Police Motor Carrier Lt. Lyle L. Stephens. In 1986, Kellie Dean left his post of 14 years as a teacher’s aide, and special education teacher and administrator for the Lansing School District to join the transportation company.

In 1991, Special Transportation was renamed Dean Transportation, and four years later Stephens retired after 26 years in the school transportation industry. In the years since, Dean Transportation has continued to provide transportation for students with special needs. The company was also one of the primary entities to engage the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the U.S. Department of Transportation in a five-year legal battle to develop federal safety guidelines and establish equipment specifications to safely transport passengers in wheelchairs.

“After 50 years of quality service to our communities, Dean’s commitment to students and parents continues to grow stronger,” Dean said. “Our goal is to continue living up to our core values of integrity, trust, respect, compassion, quality, communication, teamwork, and advocacy as we enter our next 50 years serving Michigan families.”

In addition to school transportation, Dean Transportation has expanded its service offerings to include Dean Charters and Tours — now Dean Trailways. The company has also led environmental initiatives and a proprietary school bus health care training curriculum, which is taught in partnership with local community colleges.

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