Company:Minnesota Central School Bus
Location(s):5288 Stagecoach Trl N
Illinois Central School Bus is the 5th largest school bus company in the nation. The Company operates from 54 facilities located in Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Kansas, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Massachusetts. The Company has a well maintained fleet of over 3,400 school buses, vans and other student transportation vehicles with an average fleet age of 5.3 years. Founded in May of 2004, Illinois Central School Bus is the fastest growing school bus business in the nation for the last 2 years.
Illinois Central’s services include home-to-school busing, special needs transportation, extracurricular and charter trips for schools and other groups. The Company has contracts with numerous school districts for terms of 3 to 5 years. The extraordinary organic growth story of Illinois Central is a product of its dedicated, highly motivated and experienced management team.
The founder and CEO of Illinois Central School Bus is Mr. Bruce Barr, a 30 year veteran of the school bus transportation industry. Mr. Barr was previously a key member of Ryder management team and later First Student’s management team. Illinois Central’s other key operations managers collectively have almost 100 years in the school bus transportation industry gained at major school bus transportation companies.
The Company has a well maintained and balanced, modern fleet of over 3,400 school transportation vehicles. The fleet predominantly consists of Type C school bus vehicles, and almost two-thirds of the fleet consists of 60+ passenger vehicles.
Illinois Central has 6 operating divisions: North Region, South Region, Central Region, Chicago Region, West Chicago Region, and the Southwest Region. Each operating division has a designated Regional Operations Manager responsible for all aspects of the portion of Illinois Central’s business operating in that region. The Contract Manager at each of the facilities reports to the Regional Operations Manager. Regional Operations Managers report to Ron Howard, Chief Operations Officer, and Bruce Barr, founder and President, with a dotted line reporting obligation to Mr. Pat Earley, Chief Financial Officer.
ADVANCED ELECTRONIC SUPPORT SYSTEMS
Illinois Central employs advanced electronic systems to support its school busing and charter busing operations including a GPS system and two way radio communication.
Each of the Company’s buses is equipped with a GPS device which collects and transmits 16 pieces of data every 30 seconds including Idle Time, Speed, Entrance Door Open/Close, Ignition On/Off and others. Each of the Company’s facilities is equipped with radio repeaters, radio masts, a radio broadcast license and in-vehicle radios for driver communication.
Excellent fleet maintenance is essential for optimizing safety and service, headed by Steve Nordtvedt, Director of Maintenance. Managing ongoing maintenance costs is critical to ensure solid operating margins. All of Illinois Central’s maintenance is done in-house (except certain bodywork at more remote facilities) as the Company’s facilities are equipped with full maintenance capabilities including service pits and wash bays.
SAFETY AND TRAINING
Safety is an area of critical importance for both Illinois Central and its customers. Frank Ciccarella is the Safety Director. The Company continually emphasizes the importance of safe practices in its hiring, training and ongoing communications with its drivers. It also provides its drivers with monthly training programs which they are required to complete (with records kept in their employment file). When a driver is involved in an accident, the event is logged in their file and the safety director notes any areas of skill refinement needed and schedules the appropriate retraining. Repeat offenders are initially given a verbal warning with suspension or termination following depending the severity and/or number of offenses. Each year, Illinois Central’s insurance company runs a motor vehicle record (“MVR”) for each of the Company’s drivers and sends it to the Company’s safety director and the facility managers. A MVR lists any moving violations that a driver has on record. Employees with more than one violation in a year are subject to termination.