SCOTTSBLUFF, Neb. — Two school districts in the Nebraska Panhandle Consortium recently awarded a four-year contract extension to First Student.

Prior to First Student joining the community in 2012, transportation services for Gering Public Schools and Scottsbluff Public Schools were district-run and separately operated. The school districts decided each could benefit from not only sharing services, but also from First Student’s experience with managing similar operations.

The company’s high safety standards and the ability to offer enhanced transportation solutions were also important to the districts, according to the company.

“We value the continued trust in us to deliver,” said First Student Area General Manager John Billigmeier. “First Student is dedicated to forming true partnerships with the school districts we serve. Working closely with Gering and Scottsbluff Public Schools, we have been able to use our insights, expertise, and resources to provide safe and reliable service to students and their families each school day.”

The school districts and students have benefited from an upgraded bus fleet with new technology. First Student added GPS systems, cameras, crossing gates, and Child Check-Mate to the school buses that serve the districts.

“By partnering with First Student, we were able to improve our fleet and work with true professionals who understand the transportation industry better than we do,” said Gering Public Schools Superintendent Bob Hastings. “We have been pleased with the services that First Student has provided our students, and we look forward to continuing our relationship for years to come.”

The school districts also selected First Student for its driver training program, which consists of a mix of classroom and behind-the-wheel training on topics from student behavior management to bus safety. First Student drivers typically complete more than 50 hours of training before driving passengers.

“First Student drivers are highly trained and they utilize modern, well-maintained vehicles,” said Scottsbluff Public Schools Superintendent Rick Myles. “The company’s quality service has significantly enhanced our ability to provide our students with safe and efficient transportation. With the many thousands of miles our children travel across the state each year for sports and co-curricular activities, this is especially important.”

First Student transports approximately 1,200 students in the Nebraska Panhandle Consortium.

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