WEST BEND, Wis. — A family-owned school bus company that has been in business for over 70 years is being sold to Canadian-based Landmark Student Transportation.
Johnson School Bus Service announced that the sale is expected to be completed by the end of February, according to a news release from the Wisconsin-based school bus operator.
A three-generation, family-owned business, Johnson School Bus Service has provided student transportation throughout southeast Wisconsin since 1942. Founded by Aaron Johnson, the business grew under the care of his children, Chuck and Dianne Johnson. It expanded to 11 locations and more than 450 buses with the guidance of Chuck’s children: Steve and Dan Johnson and Judy Holzmann.
In a letter addressed to the school districts and other customers they serve, the Johnson family thanked their local communities for their support.
“After more than 77 years of family ownership, the third generation has made the difficult decision to sell the family business. Like all business owners, there comes a time to retire and begin enjoying the benefits of a long, successful career. It’s been a difficult decision that comes after thoughtful deliberation and many sleepless nights. It has been our life’s work to provide safe transportation to the children entrusted to our care. We cherish the memories and the relationships that were built over the years.”
Johnson School Bus Service added in the news release that it selected Landmark Student Transportation for the sale because it is “a family-based, experienced organization that will continue our culture, identity, and strong reputation.”
Landmark Student Transportation, which has been in operation since 2011, will retain the Johnson Bus and STS names, and the employee teams of managers, maintenance support, and drivers are expected to continue in their current capacities at each location. Steve Johnson, Dan Johnson, and Judy Holzmann will support Landmark through the transition and continue on as advisors.
"The continuity of staffing will ensure a seamless transition for our schools, customers, and employees. Moving forward, the new relationships that will be built will benefit everyone, especially the students that we deliver to and from school safely each day," Steve Johnson said. "We wish to extend our sincere thanks for the honor of working together in safety with our school districts, our communities, and our dedicated employees. We are very excited to see what the future holds for Johnson Bus and its employees under their ownership.”
Landmark Student Transportation, based in Aurora, Ontario, with U.S. headquarters in Dousman, Wisconsin, manages individually branded school bus companies in Idaho, Missouri, Oregon, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and New York, as well as in Ontario, according to the Fond du Lac Reporter.