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May 31, 2023

CINCINNATI — More school districts will be able to leverage an innovative, safe and reliable alternative transportation option for students with unique needs. FirstAlt, a division of First Student, the leader in school transportation, has earned a publicly procured, competitively solicited contract award for alternative transportation from the Region 10 Education Service Center (Region 10)/The Cooperative Council of Governments (CCOG), an Equalis Group Lead Agency.

The new agreement allows K-12 schools across the U.S. that are Equalis Group members to contract with FirstAlt quickly and easily. FirstAlt utilizes a fleet of right-sized vehicles from qualified local transportation companies to serve students with special transportation needs, students experiencing homelessness and out-of-district students. Drivers are fully vetted and specially trained in behavior and equipment management.

“As more school districts experience an increasing demand for specialized transportation, we are proud to deliver an impactful solution for school districts and families of students with unique transportation needs,” said FirstAlt Vice President Gregg Prettyman. “Through our new partnership with Equalis Group, districts can save time, reduce costs and ensure all students receive unmatched care and the safest ride to school.”

Equalis Group delivers compliant, publicly procured cooperative agreements that public sector entities, including federal and state agencies, local governments, and educational institutions across the country can utilize to: i) quickly acquire the products and services they need; ii) receive better pricing through the collective buying power of Equalis Group Members; and, iii) save time through Equalis Group’s legal and compliant alternative to conducting their own resource-consuming solicitation process.

This contract was procured and awarded in accordance with the requirements of 2-C.F.R. Part 200 , commonly referred to as “Uniform Guidance”. Why is that important? Because public sector entities receiving federal grant and award dollars can typically spend those dollars through Equalis Group’s already-procured contracts without having to conduct their own bids or issue request for proposals (RFP).

“We are excited to partner with FirstAlt to provide more school districts with easier access to this innovative transportation service” said Equalis Group EVP of Sales Josh Fitzgerald.

“Developed by the most experienced leadership team in alternative transportation, we are confident our members will benefit from FirstAlt’s industry-leading approach to transporting students with special transportation needs safely and reliably.”

How to Purchase through this Contract:

This cooperative contract vehicle is immediately available to Equalis Group members. Any public sector entity within the United States can join Equalis Group and begin utilizing this competitively solicited contract by completing the membership agreement, located here . There are no dues, fees, or obligations to join Equalis Group.

Contract Information:

Contract #: R10-1149A

Effective Date: 5.01.2023

Expiration Date: 4.30.26

Renewable Through: 4.30.2028

Additional information regarding the procurement process and contract award can be found on the FirstAlt landing page  on the Equalis Group website.

About First Student

As a leading school transportation solutions provider in North America, First Student strives to provide the best start and finish to every school day. With a team of highly trained drivers and the industry’s strongest safety record, First Student delivers reliable, quality services, including full-service transportation and management, special-needs transportation, fleet electrification, route optimization, and scheduling, maintenance, and charter services with a fleet of more than 45,000 buses.

About Equalis Group

Equalis Group is a national public sector purchasing cooperative that develops and administers a diverse portfolio of cooperative purchasing programs that cover a wide range of products and services. Each program in Equalis’ rapidly growing portfolio provides its members with a legal and compliant exemption to the traditional bid/RFP process and the ability to configure the solution that best meets their individual needs while achieving the lowest total cost.