First acquires a 70-vehicle Canadian schoolbus operator

First has expanded its presence in eastern Canada by acquiring a 70-vehicle yellow schoolbus business for its First Student division.

The deal, announced on 1 August, adds Claude G. Pearson Bus Lines to its activities in Ontario where it is expanding its schoolbus operations by more than 400 vehicles for the 2018/19 school year. The Pearson business was founded in 1947 and has grown to operate nearly 60 routes, mainly for six school boards.

‘This is a logical step for us because it builds on our positive growth trajectory,’ says First Student president Dennis R. Maple. ‘We’ll continue to search for opportunities to leverage our resources, insight and expertise to benefit school districts, students and families across North America.’

The acquisition follows last year’s purchase of Falcon Transportation, a 94-vehicle operation across the United States border in Chicago, and also comes as First’s Greyhound long-haul coach division withdraws almost all its routes serving the western Canadian province of British Columbia.