Student Transportation Inc., a Wall-based provider of student transportation and management services, announced Thursday that one of its subsidiaries has been awarded a new managed transportation contract for a school district in Texas.The $1.3 million contract is for the Navasota Independent School District begins July 1. The contract includes customer-paid fuel and a new 40 vehicle fleet which will be leased and owned by the school district.
“Navasota reached out to Richard Templeton, our Texas Vice President of Operations, as they were unhappy with the current provider and service. The district had hired a consulting firm to review the operations and found multiple service and management issues including several vehicles brought in from other states that were not Texas certified and a number of drivers that did not have proper certifications. Due to time constraints to get ready for the coming school year, Richard and our team provided immediate solutions in operations, safety and maintenance along with new technologies to increase efficiencies in routing and scheduling. He also helped the district secure a very low-priced, ten-year fixed rate leasing program whereby the district will own the fleet at the end of the ten-year lease period, or even sooner if they choose. The partnership we proposed will provide them with brand new state-of-the-art vehicles and a new management team with a customer service culture. We believe these two key pieces, combined with our operations expertise, will solve their performance issues and improve service for parents and students,” Kirk Wilkie, senior vice president of STI’s Central region, said in a prepared statement.
The new fleet will be equipped with GPS tracking technology and on-board cameras. It will also be “SafeStop” ready, allowing parents through an app to track the buses that are transporting students.
“We are from Texas, we work here, and it is where Richard’s family and mine live. We view Texas as a tremendous growth opportunity for us in either the contracted model or as a hybrid such as we’ve done here,” Wilkie said in a prepared statement. “School district-owned fleets here have gotten older due to funding constraints and school officials have to recognize the public-private partnership we are proposing and have demonstrated is a great way for a state like Texas to improve operations and become more efficient. Parents today want safety, security and service, on top of improved communications and new technology like SafeStop, and we are proud to be able to provide all of that and more.”