First Student and FirstAlt expects tremendous growth in the 2023/2024 school year - Photo: First Student/Canva

First Student and FirstAlt expects tremendous growth in the 2023/2024 school year

Photo: First Student/Canva

First Student has announced 15 key projections for the 2023/2024 school year that support safety and learning for student passengers. The company expects to:

  • Complete 1 billion trips.
  • Transport 450 million students.
  • Drive 473 million miles.
  • Serve 1,250 customers.
  • Maintain presence in 41 states.
  • Employ 40,000 drivers.

“We are excited about the new school year and look forward to delivering on our commitment to provide an exceptional experience to the school districts, students and families we serve,” said First Student CEO and President John Kenning in a recent news release.

First Student also has committed to transitioning 30,000 diesel buses to electric by 2035. In the 2023/2024 school year, First Student expects to:

  • Complete 125,000 trips on 458 electric buses.
  • Drive 4.3 million miles with electric buses.
  • Reduce carbon emissions by 7,600 tons.
  • Deploy 226 additional electric buses in 26 school districts.

“We are thrilled with our progress this past year, but we are just getting started. We will continue to move toward our goal of transitioning 30,000 diesel buses to electric by 2035, allowing us to improve health outcomes for the students we serve and deliver more efficiencies for our school district partners,” said Kevin Matthews, head of electrification at First Student.

FirstAlt, First Student’s alternative transportation service, also expects tremendous growth in the 2023/2024 school year. FirstAlt, which allows school districts to operate more efficiently and ensures the safe and reliable transport of students with special transportation needs and students experiencing homelessness, expects to:

  • Complete 250+ alternative transportation trips.
  • Serve 1,600+ students with special needs.
  • Serve 800+ students experiencing homelessness.
  • Train 1,800 drivers with FirstServes, First Student’s premier driver training program focused on best serving students with special transportation needs.

“Our service allows school districts to seamlessly incorporate alternative transportation into their fleets and routes, improving efficiencies while delivering best-in-class service for our most vulnerable students,” said Gregg Prettyman, vice president of FirstAlt at First Student.

First Consulting, First Student’s custom solutions provider, is ready to grow and expand as well. First Consulting offers a consulting process and evaluation for school districts to improve in areas including electrification, routing, maintenance, management, and training. First Consulting expects to:

  • Assist school districts with reducing the impact of driver shortage.
  • Identity cost savings and create efficiencies through routing and maintenance.
  • Improve student experience through research-based programs and providing consistency from the bus to the classroom.
  • Support school districts in navigating fleet electrification and implementation to ensure a successful deployment.

“At First Consulting, we leverage First Student’s expertise, scale and technology to help school districts solve operational challenges, offering proven solutions that ensure students receive the best possible ride to and from school every day,” said Leslie Norgren, vice president of Consulting at First Student. “We are thrilled to continue expanding our consulting services with school districts in the coming year.”

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