The Francis Howell School District is one of the largest and oldest school districts in the St. Louis region. With four high schools, five middle schools and 10 elementary schools, the District serves about 18,000 students kindergarten through 12th grade. Their mission is to prepare students today for success tomorrow by providing both a quality education and learning environment for all students. For some students, fulfilling that mission means providing non-traditional transportation, and they turned to Express Medical Transporters to meet that need.

The challenge

Francis Howell School District serves a wide variety of students, including those who require unique transportation arrangements. Some students require special accommodations for physical or mental disabilities. Others reside in non-traditional housing. A number of students live outside the district or in areas without many other students, making it inefficient to send full-cost school buses. Last, some students simply live in unique areas too narrow for buses to access.

Before contracting with EMT, the District was working with a taxi-cab company to handle non-traditional rides — not unlike other school districts. But their service was disappointing. They needed an organization that understood them and the unique needs of their students, one willing to provide a higher level of dedicated service.

Transportation solution and results

Express Medical Contractors established a specialized program for Francis Howell and its students. We used an accommodating, transparent contract that made it easier for the District to organize their non-traditional transportation budget.

“We have a very customized billing and routing process,” said Mike Sloan, Director of Purchased Services at Francis Howell School District.

The result was a headache-free experience for administrators and cost savings for the District.

We also added equipment and customizations to our vehicles to better accommodate students with special needs. Next, we assigned dedicated field service representatives (FSRs) to provide transportation for specific schools and students. Each of our FSRs had undergone thorough screenings and rigorous, specialty training to serve students and specialty populations.

“They would call parents, offer to have parents come to locations and meet drivers or come meet the parents,” said Vicky Frayne, Purchased Services Specialist at Francis Howell School District. “They had an open house for one of our schools — drivers came and introduced themselves to the parents so they’d be comfortable.”

Each day, the same driver would arrive at the same time to transport any given student, building trust and relationships with both students and parents.

“They helped create a sense of routine for the students.” Frayne said. “Kids can worry if they don’t have the same routine, even as much as not having the same driver can really have an effect on some kids.”

For several years running, we have proudly served Francis Howell School District and its students with compassionate, safe and timely transport.

“They’re reliable, very professional and work with you on trying to solve problems,” said Sloan. “They go above and beyond. They treat the students as students instead of as another cab fare. Our students are precious cargo. They have to be treated as such.”

Solve your transportation challenges

Does your organization need safe, reliable, budget-friendly transportation? We can help.

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