FirstGroup America Partners with Cincinnati Reds to Give 20,000 Student Planners to Fans on “Back to School Night”
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FirstGroup America Partners with Cincinnati Reds to Give 20,000 Student Planners to Fans on “Back to School Night”

August 3, 2008

CINCINNATI — FirstGroup America, North America’s leading public transportation company, is partnering with the Cincinnati Reds to give student planners to the first 20,000 fans at the Saturday, August 16 game (7:10 p.m.) vs. St. Louis Cardinals.

The giveaway marks one component of a growing partnership between FirstGroup America and the Reds as the company looks for unique opportunities to make investments in the greater Cincinnati community. Other elements of the partnership include sponsorship of the Reds Community Fund, advertising at Great American Ballpark, as well as recognition as the official student transportation provider for the Cincinnati Reds, among others.

“As FirstGroup America continues to grow, we’ve made a deliberate business decision to invest significantly in our own community,” said Carey Paster, CEO of Commercial Development for FirstGroup America. “We are a Cincinnati company with more than 800 employees and a valued customer located here. It makes imminent sense for us to give back to Cincinnati by supporting one of the Queen City’s ultimate icons.”

“With students heading back to school, we could not think of a better partner than FirstGroup America,” said Bill Reinberger, Reds Vice President of Corporate Sales. “Their cause marketing partnership with the Reds Community Fund and sponsorship of the planner giveaway indicates they are clearly committed to giving back to our community.”

First Student, one of FirstGroup America’s primary business units, owns and operates 60,000 yellow school buses and safely transports 4 million students each day, including kids who attend Cincinnati Public Schools. The company also leads the industry in making significant investments in technologies that combine to enhance the company’s commitment to safely transporting children.

Other key safety features include:

  • Global positioning systems (GPS) are being installed on First Student buses to provide dispatchers with the exact location and speed of a school bus at any time. They also provide a record of each bus’ route and all of its stops, starts and passes.
  • An electronic reminder system to prevent sleeping children from being left on buses.
  • Safety crossing gates on the front of all buses to keep children from crossing directly in front of the bus so drivers can better see them.
  • Flashing lights and extended stop arms warn motorists that children are boarding or unloading a bus.
  • Well-anchored seats with high backs that are heavily padded to absorb impact and create a protective area.
  • Smaller buses for preschool children and special needs students utilize car seats or specialized restraint systems.

“Often, school bus transportation is a child’s only means of getting to school, and therefore potentially their only access to education,” says Paster. “Making sure their ride is safe and secure is a tremendous responsibility that we take very seriously.”

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