Originally Posted by cadillackid
our local school system here.. the main one in the city.. dumped first student a few years ago due to safety and maintenance concerns with the busses... they went out and bought 300+ Brand new IC busses at once.....
in my opinion if a school district is gonna spend 20-30 million all at once on new busses then first student mustve been pretty bad..
Bus driver here, I've never worked for First Student but I work with several people that were drivers/dispatchers/managers/mechanics for them.
One thing you have to understand with First Student is that their quality of service can vary wildly from district to district. If it's a big contract with a wealthy district, they will get new(er) buses and decent support staff. If it's a small district in the middle of nowhere, they'll get away with running old junky buses and safety and management are usually not the top priorities.
First Student is a global corporation that is very much run by the bean counters. They spec buses with only the absolute bare minimum required options and their driver pay is usually low compared to other companies.
First Student has been on the decline in Wisconsin. A few years ago, corporate management decided to let the contracts expire on most of their smaller school districts and focus only on the very largest ones in the big cities. This strategy has had mixed results, mainly due to the massive driver shortage but their aggressive cost-cutting has also been a big reason as well.
FS was huge in my area years ago, at one point they serviced dozens of districts in the southern Wisconsin region. Now there's 3 terminals left and 2 of those are going up for bid sometime this year.