MV, NYC Dept of Education Work Transportation Deal

MV Transportation, Inc has announced it will begin operating more than 500 school bus routes next month for the New York City Department of Education after a U.S. Bankruptcy court approved the largest acquisition in the company’s 36-year history, writes Ryan Gray at School Transportation News.

A $75 million deal to purchase USA United Fleet, Inc. has been approved by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court of the Eastern District of New York.

USA United Fleet filed for chapter 11 on July 6 following an internal payroll embezzlement and ongoing issues in dealing with the local driver’s union, according to bankruptcy court records, writes Gray.

Based in Fairfield, California, MV Transportation, Inc. is the largest private provider of para-transit services and the largest privately-owned transportation contracting firm in the United States. The company employs 14,000 professionals and operates more than 200 para-transit, fixed-route, shuttle and Medicaid contracts in 27 states, the District of Columbia, and British Columbia, it is reported on marketwire.com.

An MV Transportation spokesperson said the company had serviced school bus routes in the past but in recent years concentrated on providing fixed-route transit, para-transit and shuttle service.

The company operates 130 locations in 26 states, including New York, where MV already provides “Access-A-Ride” services in the boroughs of Brooklyn, Harlem and Staten Island for the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

“With MV’s extensive passenger transportation experience, this deal represents the beginning of a great partnership not only for the Department of Education but for New York schools, the City, former employees and of course, the students and their families,” explained MV Transportation Chief Executive Officer R. Carter Pate.

“We are excited to have the opportunity to provide this critical student transportation service in New York and are glad to be able to extend jobs to this dedicated workforce.”

“The job of transporting students is an extremely important responsibility,” said Klika, who is overseeing the operations for this start-up.

“It is our goal to hire as many of the former company’s employees as possible. Their existing knowledge of the service and the passengers will help provide for the smoothest transition possible.”

He added that rehiring the 1,200 former unionized, USA United employees is pending criminal background checks, physical fitness re-certifications and alcohol and drug screenings.

The deal allows MV Transportation’s newly created Reliant Transportation, Inc., to operate more than 500 routes utilizing a fleet of 600 school buses.

MV Transportation inherited nearly 500 school buses from USA United and was adding another 100 vehicles, according to company President and COO Kevin Klika.

The service begins on Sept. 8, the first day of school.

Matthew Tabor

Matthew Tabor

Matthew is a prolific, independent voice in the national education debate. He is a tireless advocate for high academic standards from pre-K through graduate school, fiscal sense and personal responsibility. He values parents’ and families’ rights and believes in accountability for teachers, administrators, politicians and all taxpayer-funded education entities. With a unique background that includes work in higher education, executive recruiting, professional sport and government, Matthew has consulted on new media and communication strategies for a broad range of clients. He writes the blog “Education for the Aughts” at www.matthewktabor.com , has contributed to National Journal’s ‘Expert’ blog for Education , and interacts with the education community on Twitter and Google+.