First Student wins national awards

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Updated Aug 15, 2023
The First Student logo with a red circle and white geometric line and navy blue letters.

First Student won a pair of national awards recently, the company announced Wednesday. 

The school bus company is the National School Transportation Association (NSTA) Contractor of the Year and won a Green Fleet Award from School Transportation News (STN). 

[RELATED: EPA funding fuels electric school bus programs]

"First Student has been proud to lead the industry, setting the highest standards and leveraging our vast experience to drive the industry forward," says First Student CEO and President John Kenning. "Our innovations support one goal: to provide an exceptional experience for our students, so they arrive to school ready to achieve their full potential. We appreciate the recognition from the NTSA and STN of our dedication to continually seek a better way to do things with operational excellence and sustainable practices." 

The NSTA Contractor of the Year Award is presented in partnership with STN. It honors excellence in operations and leadership. It recognizes two First Student programs for students and families, FirstServes and FirstAlt. FirstServes is for special needs transportation, providing enhanced training for drivers and monitors, and giving them clinically proven tools and communications guidelines to ensure students with disabilities have an exceptional experience on their way to and from school. 

FirstAlt is an alternative transportation solution for students with special transportation needs, such as those experiencing homelessness or living out of the school district. It offers districts a full-service transportation solution with smaller capacity vehicles that are expertly operated and maintained, which First Student says increases efficiency.

The STN Green Fleet Award is presented in affiliation with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. It honors First Student's commitment to create a cleaner, quieter and safer ride in the communities it serves, the bus maker says. 

First Student is working toward a goal of transitioning 30,000 diesel vehicles to electric by 2035. It was recognized by the White House recently for its efforts. The company's electric school buses have driven about 2 million miles to date, it says, saving 250,000 gallons of diesel and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by more than 13.8 million pounds. 

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