First Student to Acquire Special-Needs Transportation Company

Posted on October 3, 2019

First Student has signed an agreement to purchase special-needs transportation company Hopewell Transportation. Shown here is one of the company's minivans. Photo courtesy First Student
First Student has signed an agreement to purchase special-needs transportation company Hopewell Transportation. Shown here is one of the company's minivans. Photo courtesy First Student
NEW LENOX, Ill. — First Student signed an agreement on Thursday to acquire special-needs transportation company Hopewell Transportation.

Hopewell, based in the Chicagoland area, offers school transportation to special-needs students and their families. The acquisition of the company, which will continue to operate under the Hopewell Transportation name, is expected to close by early November, according to a news release from First Student.

“Traditional transportation models are not one-size-fits-all, and Hopewell has advanced a service that meets the unique requirements of the special-needs population,” said Paul Osland, president of First Student. “Through this partnership, we intend to grow as well as learn about the special care the Hopewell team puts into transporting our most vulnerable population. We will continue to search for opportunities where we can leverage our expertise to benefit school districts, students, and families."

Established in 2011, Hopewell Transportation operates a fleet of more than 200 vehicles to transport special-needs students for 20 Chicago area school districts.

“First Student has long been an industry leader when it comes to developing and implementing best practices for transporting special-education students,” said Will McDermott, president of Hopewell Transportation. “Working together, we can strengthen our commitment to provide safe and reliable transportation to the districts we support and those entrusted to our care.”

McDermott will maintain a senior leadership role in the new venture, according to First Student.

Additionally, a team of internal experts at First Student will ensure the company remains at the forefront of evolving requirements and needs.

First Student currently has 16 locations in the Chicago area, and transports more than 70,000 students in the community every school day.

Related Topics: First Student Inc., Illinois, special needs

Comments ( 9 )
  • William Cavico

     | about 2 months ago

    Theresa : you haven't seen the crap dumped on drivers bby the regulators. Everything is for the safety of the kids. I am expecting they will make us pull to side of the road, shut down our bus and put on our flashers before we scratch our noses. we have to stop for safety at railway crossings, the vans don't : what happen to safety ????? we have to do a bus walk through and hit the bus checked button NO matter how kids you transport, no matter if every child is placed on the bus by a parent of teacher and every child is taken off by a parent or teacher, even if you have 1 student you have to do the walk through - do van drivers have to do anything extra for safety in this matter - NO we have to put out our stop arms before loading and unloading for safety - do vans have a stop arm ? they want speed limiters of buses to limit our speeds which means we can't driver as fast as the surrounding traffic or accelerate out of the way : do vans have speed limiters ??? AGAIN would you rather have your kid in a school bus or van when a distracted driver plows into it ? AND I DARE YOU TO DRIVE WITH YOUR BACK AND HEAD WITHIN ARMS REACH OF SOME OF THE LOCK DOWN CHILDREN !!!!!!!! You haven't a clue to how much crap we take because regulators are trying to do something to justify their paychecks !!!! If you wanna carry kids in a van you are going to have to meet the safety requirements that buses and bus drivers meet. We are not going to let you trade safety for dollars !!!!! Billl C. You wa

  • See all comments
More Stories
Henry County (Ga.) Schools' 23 Blue Bird Vision propane school buses are expected to emit 500 fewer pounds of particulate matter per year than the diesel buses they replaced. File photo

Georgia District Adds 23 Propane School Buses

Henry County Schools' Blue Bird Vision propane buses are expected to emit 500 fewer pounds of particulate matter per year and about 19,000 fewer pounds of nitrogen oxide than the diesel buses they replaced.

The NCST’s Steering Committee and writing committees are preparing for the 2020 Congress. Murrell Martin (shown left) and Bill Loshbough are shown here leading a discussion at NCST 2015.

NCST Gears Up for 2020

The National Congress on School Transportation Steering Committee firms up plans and writing committees are researching requests for procedures manual changes. The Congress will meet in Des Moines, Iowa, in May.

Jed Routh, former logistics manager for Thomas Built Buses, is the manufacturer's new vice president of sales, service, and marketing. He replaces long-time Thomas Built veteran Ken Hedgecock. Photo courtesy Thomas Built Buses

Thomas Built Buses Names New Sales, Marketing VP

Jed Routh, former logistics manager for the manufacturer’s operations team, is the new vice president of sales, service, and marketing. He replaces longtime Thomas Built veteran Ken Hedgecock.

More than 100 attendees joined the federal issues forum with Bruce Landsberg, vice chairman for the National Transportation Safety Board. He went over several of the agency’s safety recommendations, including those for physical performance testing, evacuation training, and fire suppression systems.

PHOTOS: Highlights from NAPT Conference in Columbus

A hands-on team-building exercise, sessions and awards addressing safety and industry achievement, and a trade show showcasing the latest technology were some of the highlights at this year's NAPT conference.

NAPT President Barry Sudduth presented Peter Mannella (right), longtime NAPT member and former executive director of the New York Association for Pupil Transportation, with the association's Distinguished Service Award. 

NAPT Awards Highlight Top-Notch Service, Achievement

Student transportation professionals are recognized for their remarkable dedication and service to the school bus industry. Awards are also presented to Zonar’s 2019 Don Carnahan Memorial grant recipients.

Be the First to Know

Get the latest news and most popular articles from SBF delivered straight to your inbox. Stay on top of the school bus industry and don't miss a thing!