WALL, N.J. — Student Transportation Inc. (STI) and its subsidiary Student Transportation of America Inc. (STA) announced on Tuesday that the company has secured the largest transportation agreement in its history.

The school bus contractor will begin serving two Nebraska school districts — Omaha Public Schools and Millard Public Schools (also located in Omaha) — in August 2013.

Under the contract, which is with the Metropolitan Omaha Education Consortium Interlocal Transportation Association, the company will provide about 530 vehicles, including more than 400 new propane buses. STI officials said that it will be the nation's largest propane-powered school bus fleet.

The contract will add revenues of approximately $25 million per year for the potential six-year agreement.

The company will open at least three facilities in the greater Omaha area to service the contract. Officials said that they plan to offer all current employees opportunities to continue with STA.

Blue Bird will manufacture the more than 400 propane buses equipped with ROUSH CleanTech liquid propane autogas fuel system technology. IC Bus will supply additional vehicles to fulfill the contract.

STI Chairman and CEO Denis Gallagher said the company has been working closely with manufacturers and suppliers to develop ways to increase alternative fuel use in its fleet.

"Domestically produced, clean-burning propane autogas is a perfect fit for school fleets, with up to 30% less greenhouse emissions," Gallagher said. "By running propane-powered buses, Omaha Public Schools can reduce their carbon dioxide emissions by 2,310,469 pounds per year, significantly lowering the school district's carbon footprint, which was its goal for the coming year."

The contractor said that it will also work closely with the district in developing new ways to improve technology in routing and scheduling, driver training programs, managerial development, and communication programs for schools and parents regarding transportation issues.

Officials from Blue Bird and ROUSH CleanTech commended the Metropolitan Omaha Education Consortium and STI for the propane agreement. The move is the biggest single order to date of propane buses for Blue Bird.

“We are thrilled that STI and Omaha Public Schools made the decision to move to propane autogas, making Omaha a greener city by dramatically reducing the emissions produced in transporting children to school each day,” said Phil Horlock, president and CEO of Blue Bird.

Added Joe Thompson, president of ROUSH CleanTech: “We applaud the Omaha Public School[s] board's decision to partner with STI to deploy more than 400 Blue Bird Propane-Powered Vision school buses.”

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