STA Competes for Contract to Invest in Memphis Schools
MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Student Transportation of America (STA), North America’s third largest provider of school transportation services, has submitted a detailed proposal to contract and provide school bus service to Memphis City Schools this fall. STA’s entry into Memphis is designed to bring good paying jobs to local residents and to boost local businesses by spending millions of dollars on new buses and services purchased through local area merchants. STA’s proposal also includes increased revenues to the City and Shelby County, the opening of new facility in the City’s Northern section and a partnership with the Black Business Association.
“While we have submitted our proposal and await the Board’s decision, we continue to believe that the School Board and the local citizens need to look at more than just the lowest bid,” said Glenn Needler, STA’s vice president of strategic development. “When all the information is considered we believe ours is the best, most progressive proposal for the students and the City. In many ways our proposal is an Economic Stimulus Program for the City. We are excited about the opportunity to partner with the community in improving service levels as well as providing significant investments, improved driver training programs and competitive wage packages for local employees. Our track record of hiring local drivers, monitors, maintenance and administrative personnel is well established.”
STA’s proposal to serve Memphis City Schools includes:
- $30 million investment in approximately 400 school vehicles for the 2010-2011 school year. Every Memphis school vehicle would be outfitted with a new improved communications systems, Global Positioning System (GPS), as well as digital video technology that monitors activity inside and outside the vehicle.
- A commitment to invest thousands of dollars to open an additional operating facility in the northern section of the city with a goal of hiring new employees from the community.
- Plans to hire and train current and new employees in the latest safety techniques to enhance morale and provide the safest, most efficient transportation.
- Approximately $1.3 million in new tax revenues to Shelby County and the city in new taxes over the initial term of the contract by purchasing new vehicles and adding to the revenues of the County.
One of STA’s key success factors is a long history of purchasing materials and supplies from local merchants. In addition to the Black Business Association, companies like Big Foot Tire & Trucking, Discount Uniforms, R & S Vending, X-Cel Business Products and True Test Collections — all City of Memphis approved Minority Business Enterprises –have already agreed to partner with STA, should the company be awarded the contract. Diamond International Trucks of Memphis has agreed to be a major supplier of school vehicles and equipment. All joined together with STA to present their proposal to the Board.
Marcus Belton, owner of Big Foot Tire & Trucking at 3376 N. Watkins Street, said, “Partnering with STA would have a big impact on my business. I do everything I can to give work to Memphis people who need it and this new business would allow me to create more jobs and add to my team of employees. I have been very impressed with the company’s outreach to members of the Black Business Association.”
Reginald and Shante Duncan, owners of R & S Vending, also are excited about working with STA. “My wife and I started the business last year and have built a solid base of local clients, said Duncan. “Winning this business from STA is just the boost we need to expand further and hire our first employees. We’ve got the equipment on stand-by and are ready to go if STA is awarded the contract.”
STA’s proposal also includes a Business Education Partnership within the city and school district to offer business internship programs for high school students and an annual investment of at least $25,000 for local scholarships and school service programs.
Last year, the company was awarded a similar size contract in Jacksonville, Florida, where the school district transportation director praised STA for setting “a high standard for a smooth start-up.”
“We anticipate the School Board will review the requests for proposals with a full sense of commitment to service, the investment in new equipment and community participation, and hopefully not just the lowest bid. We stand ready and willing to negotiate our proposal,” said Needler. “STA is unique in that we don’t intend to be just partners with the community; we become ‘part of’ the community.”
About Student Transportation, Inc.
Founded in 1997, Student Transportation is the third-largest provider of school bus transportation services in North America, conducting operations through local operating subsidiaries. Student Transportation has become a leading school bus transportation company by aggregating operations through the consolidation of existing providers and conversion of in-house operations and currently operates more than 6,300 school vehicles in North America. For more information, please visit www.rideSTA.com.