CINCINNATI—October 1, 2008, marks the one-year anniversary of the FirstGroup acquisition of Laidlaw International, Inc. The new integrated company, FirstGroup America, has firmly established itself as a solid leader in the transportation industry.
Dean Finch, Chief Operating Officer of FirstGroup America, commented, "This was a huge undertaking merging two giants of the North American transportation industry into one, but by incorporating best practices from both companies we have successfully created a strong, financially sound organization. We also have a culture which is committed to delivering safe, high quality and cost-effective transportation services to our customers."
FirstGroup America customers are municipalities, federal government entities, private enterprises, school districts and the general public. FirstGroup America, part of FirstGroup plc, operates First Student, the largest provider of student transportation in North America; First Transit, the largest private sector provider of transit management and contracting services; First Services, the largest privately owned vehicle maintenance service business; and Greyhound, the only national provider of scheduled inter-city bus services across the U.S. and Canada.
FirstGroup America in Numbers
Headquarters: Cincinnati, Ohio
Employees: 100,000 across North America
Annualized Revenues: Over $5 billion
Vehicles: Operates over 70,000 vehicles on the road everyday Passengers: Serves over 5 million customers every day
Locations:Operates in 45 states and nine Canadian provinces
FirstGroup plc based in Aberdeen, Scotland, is the world's leading transportation company employing 135,000 people worldwide, serving more than 2.5 billion passengers a year and generating more than $10 billion in annualized revenues.FirstGroup plc is a FTSE 100 company listed on the London Stock Exchange.
Investment in the Future
"Our strategy focuses on our core values of safety and customer service," said Dean Finch. "And we have made considerable investments to support those values. We also recognize the contribution our employees make to our success and are committed to investing in them in support of being an employer of choice."
Investment since October 2007
$1.2 billion with Navistar's IC Bus, LLC for new school buses
$90 million with Thomas Built Buses, Inc. for new school buses
$9.8 million with Child Check-Mate Systems to complete the outfitting of the school bus fleet with this child detection and bus security system
$37 million to equip the school bus fleet with a GPS safety and security system over the next two years
$67 million with Navistar Parts for school bus parts
Nearly 1,000 new and renewed contracts signed since October '07
Over $100 million being invested in improvements in Greyhound
In addition, FirstGroup America has introduced a number of initiatives since the inception of the new organization that include:
-Introduced new business lines such as Greyhound's Bolt Bus and First Student's First Planning Solutions to better serve our customers' dynamic needs
-Successfully introduced an automated preventative maintenance program across all divisions
-Extended an Injury Prevention program to all parts of the organization which has dramatically reduced incidents
-Established a Corporate Social Responsibility policy with a focus on community and environmental sustainability
-Conducted customer and employee surveys across North America which gave positive results about the organization's approach and are evidence of the success of the integration
-Consolidated several divisional headquarters to one location based in Cincinnati, OH
-Implemented an innovative compliance monitoring program to support the company's commitment to our Freedom of Association policy – FirstGroup is the first company in the U.S. to voluntarily introduce such a program
-Undertaken a large-scale project to integrate back office systems in accounts payable, payroll and information technology
-Established a new management structure comprised of the best people from both legacy organizations and recruited new talent into the business
-Developed a new integrated culture across 100,000 employees with a focused vision for the future
The successful first twelve months were rounded off when the National Safety Council (NSC) announced that Chief Executive Sir Moir Lockhead, on behalf of FirstGroup, will receive its 2009 Green Cross for Safety Medal, the NSC's annual recognition of an organization that demonstrates a steadfast commitment to improving safety and health in the workplace, its community, and through safety leadership demonstrated by its CEO.
Dean Finch concluded,"We have achieved a great deal in twelve months and are proud of our success to date and know with the strength of the organization we will go on to accomplish a great deal more."
For more information, visit www.firstgroupamerica.com.