Same routes, new buses
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The privately owned Logan Bus Company, established in 1970, is a 1,500-bus operation, the largest company of its kind in New York, Muirhead said. It runs nine subsidiaries in the five boroughs, and has been under contract with the New York City Department of Education since it was founded, he said.
While its Guardian subsidiary has never had a presence on Long Island, Muirhead said, Logan had another subsidiary company that operated in Nassau and Suffolk counties in the late 1970s and early ’80s.
The company’s owners — whom he did not identify — live on Long Island, Muirhead said, and have long wanted to resume operations there. “This just seemed like a prime opportunity to get their feet wet and establish a real strong presence in Long Island,” he said, “as a reliable and a dependable operator.”
He added, “It’s not like we’re just coming in here cold feet. We know Long Island. We know the land.”
Muirhead said that safety is a major concern for the company, and that it has several safety inspectors whose job is to monitor bus routes and alleviate situations that are of concern to parents. “The owners have two little girls themselves,” he said. “They wouldn’t put their little girls on a bus unless they were 100 percent sure they could put it on the road.”
DeAngelo stressed that parents should be patient with the company during the initial transition process. “There will be a little bit of a learning curve,” he said. “We’re hoping that things will move as seamlessly as possible.
“Unfortunately, the turnaround time to do this was seemingly overnight,” he continued. “We would have loved to have been given more notice. But we could only act as quickly as we got the final word from the bankruptcy court.”
In a letter sent to parents on Dec. 20, DeAngelo suggested that they direct any questions or concerns to the district’s transportation office, at (516) 478-5771, or the office of the assistant superintendent for business and finance, at 478-5737.
Representatives of Atlantic Express did not respond to repeated requests for comment. The company’s attorneys declined to comment.
Brian Racow contributed to this story.