WALL, N.J. — Student Transportation Inc. (STI) and its subsidiary Student Transportation of America (STA) announced that the company has closed the acquisition of assets from two California operations of Atlantic Express.

STI's subsidiary SchoolWheels Direct has been managing the operations of the fleet for the past month, as SBF previously reported.

SchoolWheels Direct, a logistics and management services company, was hired after approval by Atlantic Express' debtors and bankruptcy court to ensure customers and employees that there would be a smooth transition until STA and the various parties involved with Atlantic Express could complete an asset purchase agreement.

"We are pleased to be able to close the transaction sooner than we anticipated," STI Regional Vice President Don Kissell said. "We were able to hit the ground running just after the holidays to be ready when the students went back to school. The cooperation we received from various state and local officials to ensure thousands of children had safe transportation was just remarkable. The SchoolWheels Direct management team was able to provide continuity of service, which was extremely important to the local customers, the court and both of the companies."

STA management has already met with the staff and drivers, as well as customers, to answer questions and identify the goals to accomplish moving forward. Officials said the company felt it was important to address any concerns involved with such a quick turnaround, but is confident that it can begin improving operations and implementing programs right away.

“We know this is a local business, and our team here in California is very excited to welcome in over 500 new employees to the STA family of companies," Kissell added.

The company also noted that it has recently renewed one of its largest existing contracts with Los Angeles Unified School District for an additional five years.