July 24, 2008

First Student School Bus Drivers and Monitors Earn Top Placements at Minnesota Special Education School Bus Driver and Transportation Assistant Awards

CINCINNATI, July 24 /PRNewswire/ -- First Student, Inc., the nation's leader in student transportation, announces four of its drivers and monitors in Minnesota earned four of six top awards in the Special Education School Bus Driver and Transportation Assistant Awards Program. Presented by the Minnesota State Special Education Committee, of the Minnesota Department of Education, the awards highlight excellence in the daily operation, safety practices and professionalism of Minnesota school bus drivers and monitors. All First Student award winners were from the First Student Oakdale location.

   First Student Special Education School Bus Driver Award Winners   Sharon Reimers   First Place    Barb Thomson   Second Place     First Student Special Education Transportation Assistant Award Winners   Alice Jones   First Place    Luella Buersken   Third Place    

Several other First Student drivers and monitors also received Honorable Mention designations.

   Nominees are evaluated on:    -- Demonstration of concern for students   -- Proper communication with students, parents and school officials   -- Skills developed to aid in job responsibility and/or performance   -- Volunteer activities enhancing ability to better serve students    
"Safety is a core value at First Student," says Jeff Pearson, regional operations manager for First Student. "These awards point to the professionalism and devotion of our drivers and monitors to ensure the needs of the children entrusted to us on our Special Education buses are addressed so they may enjoy the safest bus ride to and from school every day."

All First Student drivers must pass a comprehensive background check, substance screen and full DOT physical exam, as well as complete more than 50 hours of classroom and behind-the-wheel training before they can drive a First Student bus. First Student was the first school bus operator to install front safety crossing gates and an anti-theft, electronic child reminder system as standard equipment on its buses, and also was the first to utilize a computerized global positioning system.

In the U.S., 25 million children ride in school buses everyday. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, school buses are the safest way for children to get to and from school -- 13 times safer than traveling to school in the family car. School bus transportation also plays an important part in ensuring all children have access to education, since for many, it is their only means of getting to school.

First Student, Inc., a part of Cincinnati-based FirstGroup America, is the leader in safe, reliable, sustainable transportation and is the largest provider of transportation services in North America. First Student safely transports more than 3 million students with a fleet of 49,000 yellow school buses in the U.S. In Canada, First Student operates 11,300 buses and transports 700,000 children to and from school each day. First Student is dedicated to providing the safest and most efficient student transportation service in North America. For more information, please visit http://www.firststudentinc.com/.

First Student, Inc.

CONTACT: Nicol Jones of First Student, Inc., +1-513-362-4600

Web site: http://www.firststudentinc.com/