For Student Transportation, Inc. It’s the Largest Contract Ever
Roush CleanTech and Blue Bird Bus are expected to announce an order for more than 400 propane auto-gas-fueled buses for the Omaha and Millard Public Schools in Nebraska on Wednesday. Student Transportation, Inc. (NASDAQ:STB) disclosed the deal Tuesday, calling it “the largest transportation agreement in its history.”
Under the contract with the Metropolitan Omaha Education Consortium (MOEC) Interlocal Transportation Association, STI and its Student Transportation of America subsidiary will provide approximately 530 vehicles. According to Patrick Vaughan, COO at STA, 434 will be dedicated-propane Roush-powered “Vision” buses by Blue Bird, with the remainder made up by diesel buses from Navistar’s IC unit.
Blue Bird and Roush are commencing production immediately, Roush says. STI’s contract commences in August “and will add revenues of approximately $25 million a year for the potential six-year agreement.”
STI said it will open “at least” three facilities in the Omaha area to service the contract. Omaha Public Schools alone has approximately 50,000 students at 80 schools.
Propane: ‘Perfect Fit’
The firm said too that it will work too on “new ways to improve technology in routing and scheduling, state-of-the-art driver training programs, managerial development, and improved communication programs for schools and parents regarding transportation issues.”
STI chairman and CEO Denis Gallagher said that “propane autogas is a perfect fit for school fleets.”
“This large deployment is the catalyst that alternate fuels needed to become a viable and reliable fuel source for school transportation,” Gallagher said in a release. “We have been leaders in this area and have been pushing and working with our manufacturers to have a final product that can lower greenhouse emissions and lower costs at the same time.
STI Offers Alt Fuel Financing
“We wanted a large project to roll out our initiative in this area so school districts around the country can see there is a better way to transport children to school with a lower cost of operation. With or without the ‘fiscal cliff’, schools across North America need financial solutions and new ideas…
“We have tremendous access to low-cost capital and leasing,” Gallagher said. “We have tremendous expertise in school bus operations; and we have hundreds of customers who are our greatest salespeople.
“It’s time for the 10,000 school districts that still own and operate their fleets to call us and see how we can help. School bus fleets in America are getting older and less fuel-efficient.
“New vehicles require capital but create jobs in manufacturing this country desperately needs,” Gallagher said.
“We have access to that capital and are prepared to purchase school district owned fleets for cash and invest those dollars back in education and provide new, safe, innovative and technologically advanced ways to transport children to school. The time is now.”
Ron Halley is senior VP of fleet and facilities at STA.
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Source: Student Transportation, Inc. with Fleets & Fuels follow-up