First Student (United States)

First Student, a division of FirstGroup America, is a brand used by the Scottish transport company FirstGroup for student transport in the United States. According to the company's website, it is the largest provider of school bus services in the United States. The company operates in 39 US states.[1]

First Student
(through acquisition of school bus business of Ryder)
Headquarters600 Vine Street, Ste. 1400
Cincinnati, Ohio 45202
Service areaUnited States
Service typeSchool bus, charter service

With a workforce of 50,500 employees and a fleet of 44,000 vehicles, First Student transports approximately 5 million students daily.[1] The company bus fleet drives over 550 million miles every year.[1] First Student is the first school bus operator to integrate Zonar, an electronic fleet-management software program, into its fleet.[2]

Company history

First Student was created in 1999 when FirstGroup acquired the student transportation division of Ryder. During the next decade, the company expanded through the acquisition of other school bus contractors.One bus has toured the United States on trials.[3]

Laidlaw Acquisition

By 2007 FirstGroup had built the First Student network into one of the largest school bus contractors in the United States, and in the same year, the company acquired Laidlaw International Inc. for 3.4 billion dollars.Taking over its school transportation operations as well.[4]

Safety features

In 2010 First Student installed Zonar on all 60,000 of its school buses. These features include, the EVIR Inspection System for verified pre-trip, post-trip and child-check inspections; the V2J Vehicle Diagnostic Device for tracking and managing of assets and real-time transmission of vehicle subsystem data; and Ground Traffic Control, a Web-based data and fleet management application.[5]

See also


  1. First Student in a snapshot First Student
  2. "First Student To Equip Entire Fleet of 60,000 Vehicles With Zonar". (Press release). 1 May 2010. ...first as a pilot customer...
  3. BBC News Video - "Bus boss explains yellow buses" Accessed 22 July 2008
  4. "FirstGroup closes Laidlaw acquisition". schoolbusfleet. Retrieved 3 October 2019.
  5. "First Student to outfit 60,000-vehicle fleet with Zonar". schoolbusfleet. Retrieved 3 October 2019.

Media related to First Student buses at Wikimedia Commons

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