The Pontiac School District in Oakland County made statewide headlines in 1993 when it sold its buses and hired Ryder Student Transportation Services to transport its 4,000 students to and from school. Designed to net the district savings of about $500,000 annually, the Pontiac plan spurred other school bus privatizations across the state.
To handle its busing, the Climax–Scotts School District in Kalamazoo County hired Cincinnati–based Laidlaw Transit Corporation in 1996. “We’ve never been happier,” says the district’s business manager Lou Wade. “Drivers get more in–service training and the company helps educate our students about bus safety too.”