AllentownSchool District

Allentown School District Partners with Student Transportation of America

Allentown School District Partners with Student Transportation of America
Posted on 01/25/2024

ALLENTOWN, PA — At its Thursday, January 25, 2024, Regular Board Meeting, the Allentown School District approved a five-year student transportation contract with Student Transportation of America (STA) effective July 1, 2024.  With the new contract, STA will replace First Student who currently provides transportation services for the District. First Student will continue to provide student transportation services through the expiration of their current contract, which is June 30, 2024. 

While seven contractors expressed interest in the transportation services contract, proposals were received from three contractors and then analyzed by a team of school board members and administrators prior to the recommendation and vote by the Board. Proposals were evaluated based on qualifications and experience, safety records, maintenance and driving training programs, business stability, human resources management, references, and cost. 

At the present, STA currently provides student transportation for over 30 school districts and Intermediate Units across Pennsylvania.  

“We are pleased to partner with STA to ensure safe, reliable, and cost-effective transportation for our students,” said Dr. Carol Birks, Superintendent of Allentown School District. Dr. Birks added, “The safety of our students is always our highest priority.” 

All vehicles will be equipped with two-way radios, GPS systems, and Child Check-Mate systems. In addition, the new contract includes several safety-related enhancements, including: (1) all vehicles designated for special needs routes will be equipped with air-conditioning and three-point seat belts, (2) all buses will be equipped with four cameras, and all vans will be equipped with one camera, (3) all buses will be equipped with intercom systems so the driver can communicate effectively with children, (4) all buses will be equipped with top strobe lights for improved safety, and (5) all vehicles will display the words “ALLENTOWN SCHOOL DISTRICT.”

The District anticipates a smooth transition from First Student to STA as both companies currently work with the same parent labor union, which should prove to be positive for the existing drivers and other employees. It is believed that STA will engage most of the First Student employees, because of comparable terms and conditions of employment and due to the national shortage of bus drivers.

The estimated cost of the contract is $59,541,143 over the five-year period, which includes a

year one estimate of $10,992,811 and 3.85% annual increases. This cost estimate is calculated 

using STA’s proposed rates for full-size buses, mini-buses, lift-buses, vans, and hourly rates for 

monitors and field trips expected. STA’s proposal is estimated to be $2 million less than the other formal proposals over the life of the contract.