First Student will replace all 70 school buses in the Ankeny Community School District fleet.  -  Image: First Student

First Student will replace all 70 school buses in the Ankeny Community School District fleet.

Image: First Student

Ankeny Community School District has awarded First Student a 5-year contract to provide transportation for the 2022-23 school year and beyond.

Nearly 5,800 students will be riding new school buses beginning in August. First Student is replacing the district’s entire fleet of 70 buses. All will be equipped with the latest technology, including GPS tracking systems and DriverHub. The onboard tablet technology provides drivers with advanced views of bus routes, turn-by-turn directions and real-time traffic updates.​

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Upper Merrion Area School District partnered with First Student to improve their student’s experience and reduce costs in a meaningful way.

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“We appreciate First Student’s strategic approach to improving transportation services for our students,” said Ankeny Community School District Superintendent Erick Pruitt. “We were looking for a dynamic partner with comprehensive solutions to meet the needs of our district and believe we have found that in First Student. We look forward to partnering with First Student to provide high quality, safe, and consistent service that will positively impact every student's journey to and from school.”

Over the course of the contract, First Student will introduce the company’s full technology suite. Families will be able to manage the before-and-after school rush with the FirstView District Dashboard and Parent App. School administrators can streamline daily decision-making through centralized, real-time fleet reporting and efficiently alert parents about school delays or issues through the secure bus-tracking app.

Ankeny Schools also get access to two web-based communications tools, FirstACTS and First Feedback. FirstACTS helps manage the process of tracking student conduct on the bus. First Feedback collects, addresses, and tracks various comments from parents, school district officials, and the community.

“We understand the importance of developing and maintaining strong operational standards that set us apart from other transportation providers,” said First Student Region Vice President John Billigmeier. “At First Student, we weave our promise to care for students into every practice, demonstrating a clear commitment to lead the industry when it comes to driver training, safety and technology. We are excited to grow our operations in Iowa and look forward to working closely with Ankeny Schools to enhance the bus-riding experience for students and families.”

Ankeny Schools also will us First Planning Solutions. The company’s dedicated routing division will develop bus routes to improve efficiency and reduce operating costs.

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