CINCINNATI — Wisconsin’s second largest school district seeks to transform the bus-riding experience for its students and families through a new partnership with First Student. The Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD) selected the company through a bid process to provide high-quality and safe transportation services beginning with the 2023-2024 school year.
Over the course of the three-year contract, new school buses and First Student’s exclusive and innovative technology suite will modernize MMSD’s transportation service. Onboard technology provides drivers with the most efficient route, ensuring the safe arrival of students. GPS/location tracking of buses in real-time allows families and school-based administrators to show when a bus arrives at school or home.
“Families trust us to get their children to school and back home safely,” said MMSD Interim Superintendent, Lisa Kvistad. “We want to provide our students and families with the best possible experience on the school bus. First Student is known for delivering comprehensive, forward-thinking transportation services, and we are confident they will deliver positive solutions for our district.”
“We look forward to introducing innovative tools to help the Madison Metropolitan School District and their families better manage the school day,” said First Student Area General Manager, Ladel Cass. “First Student continually seeks a better way to do things, especially when it comes to implementing new industry-leading technologies that help ensure an exceptional experience on the bus. We are excited to work with the district to modernize their transportation service, providing unmatched care and the safest ride to school, so when students arrive, they are ready to achieve their full potential.”
Current drivers who have serviced MMSD schools are encouraged to join the First Student team. The company is raising wages and offering sign-on bonuses to those who meet its industry-leading hiring requirements.
“The school day begins when students get on the bus and develop those important relationships with the dedicated and caring bus drivers who transport our kids,” Kvistad said. “First Student recognizes the tremendous impact drivers bring to their roles and to our community. We hope the drivers who have supported our schools, students and families will continue to do so by working with our new transportation provider.”
Drivers will also receive enhanced training to ensure students who require additional support receive appropriate and unique care. First Student will introduce its innovative FirstServes™ program, empowering drivers and monitors with clinically proven tools and communications guidelines. The next evolution approach in special needs transportation helps students arrive feeling safe and ready to learn.
First Student has over 100 years of experience partnering with school districts to deliver modern student transportation solutions. The company has 10 Wisconsin locations that serve more than 20 school districts and thousands of families.
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, route optimization, and scheduling, maintenance and charter services with a fleet of about 40,000 buses. For more information, visit firststudentinc.com.
About the Madison Metropolitan School District
The Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD) is the second-largest school district in Wisconsin and serves over 25,000 students in 52 schools. The district’s vision is that every school will be a thriving school that prepares every student to graduate ready for college, career and community. With more than 4,500 teachers and staff, MMSD is committed to ensuring the district’s goals and core values are held at the center of its efforts so students can learn, belong, and thrive. For more information, visit mmsd.org.