Durham School Services was selected by the Utica (N.Y.) City School District to transport about 10,000 students for the district to and from school each day for the next five years.
Beginning in July, the school bus company will operate 120 routes that serve the district's students, according to a news release from Durham.
“[Durham] has over 100 years of experience in the student transportation industry, transporting more than one million students from over 340 school districts in 32 states," said Bruce J. Karam, superintendent of schools at Utica City School District. "I am confident that with their focus on student safety, along with industry leading technology, Durham School Services will provide the students and parents of the Utica City School District with safe and efficient transportation that they can rely on.”
“Over the past year, due to driver shortages throughout North America, we have revved up our driver recruitment efforts and continue to do so to ensure all our customers are well looked after," said Liz Sanchez, chief operations officer for National Express, Durham's parent company.
In addition to its "best-in-class" drivers, onboard technology, and data to monitor and improve safety, Sanchez added, Durham's fleet in Utica will also use new environmentally friendly vehicles powered by a combination of propane and gasoline.
Each of the school bus company's vehicles is equipped with Fogmaker fire suppression technology and Lytx DriveCam to help ensure every student arrives to and from school safely each day, according to Durham. Additionally, every driver undergoes an extensive training program and is required to attend routine safety meetings and refresher training classes throughout the year.
In the coming months, Durham will begin to hire and train more than 210 team members to help ensure the smooth transition of operations before the start of school.