School bus contractor Student Transportation, Inc. (STI) named Patrick Vaughan as president of a newly formed School Transportation Group to focus on the company’s range of pupil transportation services.
STI created the new group to “continue its focus on the company’s core school contracted transportation operations.” Its new president, Vaughan, has almost 30 years of experience in the student transportation industry and currently serves as STI’s chief operating officer.
The student transportation industry, said CEO and Chairman Denis Gallagher, is growing, changing and facing new challenges such as “driver shortages, additional on-board technologies, alternative fuels and greater communications with schools and parents.”
However, Gallagher said STI is “built for the long term and it is great to have a team who is disciplined in how we approach growth. We have taken the time over the last two years to develop new strategies, rebuild some infrastructure, add new people and technologies as well as continue to inspire our workforce, who is the key point of service for our school principals, parents and students.”
“As I have said many times, we need to think differently, be creative and stay ahead of the curve. We need to develop our people and encourage new ideas. We are fortunate to have the most experienced and best senior management team in the industry and one that has known each other and worked together well for over 25 years.” Gallagher added.
Vaughan said the new School Transportation Group will focus on recruiting, training and retaining drivers and technicians; implementing recently-developed technologies to reduce costs; and maintaining “the highest level of safe and reliable student transportation” that STI provides its customers. He went on to add that STI would be “strategic” in where it would and would not expand.
“My team and their leadership will be a necessary and integral part of the growth of STI as there are numerous opportunities on the core contracted side with many school districts throughout North America that need quality, comprehensive transportation solutions,” Vaughan stated.
Vaughan will also assist in the Managed Services Group that was formed two years ago and offers “management and staffing solutions, advisory services, fleet management services, and driver training and development” as unbundled options. In this area, said Gallagher, “we will be looking to leverage the businesses we started and recently acquired in MSG over the past two years to grow our non-asset and asset light businesses that are directly related to our key core competencies of safety and fleet services.”
“Over the past 20 years, we have built a nationwide footprint of operations and facilities across the U.S. and Canada in our core business which continues to grow. We have significantly improved our technology and backroom services with our expertise in compliance and controls and will continue to expand the businesses using all these assets more effectively,” Gallagher concluded.
On Wednesday, STI expanded into Maryland with the acquisition of the Annapolis Bus Company, Inc. This family-owned company has a fleet of 125 school buses brings in approximately $8.5 million in annual revenue.
“Maryland has many contracted operations as well as school district owned and operated fleets and, as partners with (Annapolis Bus’) Ross and his team, we feel we can grow in the area by demonstrating to these district-owned operations the need to concentrate on education and use our expertise on creating effective transportation solutions for parents and students.” Vaughan said of the acquisition.