When East Meadow students return from holiday recess on Monday, a new bus company will be taking them to and from school.
The change was necessitated after the district’s longtime carrier, the Atlantic Express Transportation Corp., filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in November in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. The company had transported East Meadow students for at least 10 years, according to East Meadow School District Superintendent Louis DeAngelo.
The bankruptcy court auctioned off Atlantic’s assets and school district contracts, and in early December it awarded the contracts for East Meadow and three other districts — Bellmore-Merrick, Oceanside and Uniondale — to the Logan Bus Company, which is headquartered in New York City.
One of Logan’s subsidiaries, the Guardian Bus Company, will take over East Meadow’s routes, and will operate out of a newly purchased bus depot at 3678 Oceanside Road in Oceanside.
Corey Muirhead, a spokesman for Logan, told the Herald that the company will retain more than 80 percent of Atlantic Express’s employees, and that it aims to keep the same drivers and dispatchers on each route. “That’s the promise we’ve made,” Muirhead said. “We’re having a great retention right now with getting the same people.”
DeAngelo said he was told by Logan officials to expect the same pickup and drop-off times along East Meadow routes. He added that the company began transporting East Meadow students to sporting events during the winter recess.
The superintendent said he interviewed Logan officials throughout the process, and that he felt comfortable with their responses to his concerns. “I felt that they were very straightforward and quick to have contingency plans should there be any issues,” he said, “which suggested they were pretty organized.
“If we found something significantly problematic,” DeAngelo continued, “we could have moved forward in some other way in some other emergency fashion.”