CINCINNATI — The First Student school bus transportation facility in New Orleans now has a permanent home at 6600 Almonaster. The location had been operating out of trailers following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. “The constant challenge for our New Orleans team has been finding adequate facilities in a town that once stood 17 feet under water,” said Rick Hendricks, location manager of First Student New Orleans. “The new First Student location actually is a former auto auction facility. With ten bays, 5,000 square feet of office space and paved parking, the site is perfectly suited for school bus transportation,” says Hendricks.
The First Student facility in New Orleans faced the same, daunting challenges of any New Orleans area business immediately following Katrina: finding electricity, fresh water and vendors that were still operational to help them get back on their feet and back in business. “Once the waterlogged, inoperable buses were towed away and trailers were brought in, we were able to reestablish our office and resume training and limited operations,” says Hendricks. “Then we could focus on getting our school bus routes back up and running to once again safely transport the children of New Orleans to and from school.”
The New Orleans operation has grown from just 30 routes after Hurricane Katrina to more than 400 routes servicing two school districts and a dozen charter schools.
“As the nation’s leader in student transportation, safety is a core value at First Student,” says Hendricks. “We are pleased to be able to continue providing the highest level of service and safety as we transport New Orleans students to and from school each day. It’s a tremendous responsibility that we take very seriously.”