WALL, N.J. — Student Transportation of America Inc. (STA) has been awarded a new contract with Columbia (Mo.) Public Schools.

The initial three-year contract, with the option for additional renewal years, will commence in August 2015 and feature 212 new school vehicles, bringing in annual revenues exceeding $10 million, company officials said.

The contract award marks the company's first operations in Missouri. STA currently operates similarly sized contracts in Omaha, Nebraska; Boise, Idaho; Milwaukee; and Los Angeles.

"We are excited about this bid win and look forward to our new partnership with Columbia Public Schools and the community," said Patrick Vaughan, chief operating officer of Student Transportation Inc., STA’s parent company. "We have an experienced team ready to serve and a tremendous reputation for quality service in our communities. We spend a lot of time developing a culture of mutual respect with our employees, parents, and, of course, the students we transport. Our existing customers see the change we bring and eagerly recommended us to new potential customers."

The new fleet of vehicles servicing the contract will feature several onboard cameras, GPS and a Child Check-Mate system, company officials said. The company is also in discussions with the district to make its mobile application, SafeStop, available to parents. The app is designed to let parents securely track the location of their child’s school bus along its route to and from school. The service also includes various information notices and alerts that can be sent directly to its members.

Other terms of the contract include fuel protection for STA for all fuel in excess of $1 per gallon, as well as the company's agreement to use district-owned facilities as part of this public-private partnership.

STA is holding informational sessions this week with the current drivers and personnel who will be given the first opportunity to work for the company. STA will also  recruit and hire additional drivers for growth in the area.

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