JACKSONVILLE – Student Transportation of America (STA), the nation’s third largest school transportation provider, said yesterday that the pilot program to provide transportation for Duval County students attending the area’s magnet schools has been well received by area parents.
Last month Duval County schools cut all transportation to and from several magnet schools, leaving parents and students to find another means for transportation.
“Hundreds of parents contacted us immediately following notification by the district. Our experienced operations team developed a program where we could provide service for parents who need to be sure there is safe, reliable, and affordable transportation for their children,” said Chris Ingold, operations manager at STA’s Jacksonville location.
He said, “The response and feedback from parents has been very positive. STA has a great reputation for safe service here in Jacksonville. We have set up on-line applications and a budget friendly payment plan we believe parents will like and we are opening up our applications to all those who need transportation throughout the district.”
STA currently serves the Duval County school district and has a fully staffed maintenance and operations facility along with a modern fleet of over 250 vehicles in the area.
In addition to the regular service to school, STA said it will be launching its “EasyRider” Program at a later date where parents can be notified of any scheduling or route changes via e-mail or mobile phone. Instant alerts and messaging will allow better communications with parents and the company. Riders can also earn points based on days riding and will be able to use those points in a rewards program being developed. The company is also exploring options such as installing Wi-Fi internet access on board for students while on the ride.
Parents can register for service online and suggest a bus stop for their child. The goal is to allow working parents, single parents, and those otherwise affected by these cuts a way to maintain their schedules and still ensure that their children get to and from school safely and on time.
Parents who want to sign up their children for the service can fill out an online request form at www.zoomerang.com/Survey/WEB22CLXRJNVM6, visit the company’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/StudentTransportation, or call the local STA Jacksonville office at (904) 720-2177 for more information.