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First Student Senior Vice President Gary Catapano Appointed to Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee

For Release: March 12, 2013


CINCINNATIFirst Student, the largest student transportation provider in North America, recently announced that Senior Vice President of Safety Gary Catapano was named to the U.S. Department of Transportation's Department of Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee (MCSAC). Catapano will begin his 2-year term April 1.

Established by Congress in 2006, the MCSAC is charged with providing information, advice and recommendations to The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) on safety programs and regulations for large trucks and commercial buses. The MCSAC is composed of stakeholders from the motor carrier safety advocacy, safety enforcement, labor and industry communities.

“At DOT, safety is our highest priority,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood in a public statement. “Working with partners who provide us with greater knowledge, experience and ideas will only help us make our nation's highways even safer.”

The MCSAC members are chosen through application to the agency. They are selected from among individuals who are not employees of FMCSA and who are specially qualified to serve on the committee based on their education, training, or experience. Approximately 100 experts were nominated, and five were chosen for service to the committee.

“The safety of our nation's school children has always been my focus and top priority,” said Catapano. “I appreciate the opportunity to help the agency with the regulations that affect student transportation.”

Catapano has 19 years of transportation safety experience.  In addition to being responsible for the safe operation of more than 54,000 First Student school buses, Gary is the chair of First America's Safety Council, which provides a safety review function for all First America companies, including First Student, First Transit, Greyhound and First Vehicle Services.

As a member of the National Safety Council, Gary has served as past chair of the School Transportation Section and currently serves as a member of the Board of Delegates and Chair of the Transportation Safety Division. He is also the Safety Council's representative to the Steering Committee of the National Congress on School Transportation. Gary has participated in the last two National School Transportation Congresses as a member of the Steering Committee and once as part of the delegation representing New York State.

Gary is a member of the National School Transportation Association and currently serves as its Chair of the Safety and Security Committee.  Gary is also a member of the National Association of Pupil Transportation.

For more information about FMCSA's Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee, including a complete summary of all its members, please visit


First Student, Inc. - a division of Cincinnati, Ohio-based FirstGroup America - is the leader in safe, reliable, sustainable transportation and the largest provider of student transportation services in North America. The company safely transports approximately 6 million students every day in the US and Canada, using a fleet of 54,000 buses. The safety and security of its passengers is the company's core value, and in 2009 FirstGroup America was awarded the National Safety Council's prestigious Green Cross for Safety Medal in recognition of its commitment to safety and outstanding safety record. For more information, please visit or follow the company on Facebook and Twitter.

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