STATEN ISLAND, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--
Atlantic Express Transportation Corp (“Atlantic Express”), one of the largest school bus transportation service providers in North America with leading operations in New York, Massachusetts, California and Pennsylvania, today announced the Company and its subsidiaries have filed voluntary petitions for debt relief under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. During the Chapter 11 process, the company will continue normal operations and remain committed to providing its customers and passengers with safe, reliable and timely student and commuter transportation service. Atlantic Express intends to use the Chapter 11 process to explore the availability of additional debt or equity financing, market its assets for sale and continue its challenging labor negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement with Local 1181-1061, Amalgamated Transit Union, AFL-CIO (“Local 1181”).
David Carpenter, President and CEO of Atlantic Express, said, “On behalf of the entire management team at Atlantic Express, I would like to thank our customers, employees and suppliers for their support during this challenging financial reorganization process. Quite simply, our current business model in our largest market, New York City, is not sustainable as union labor costs and operating expenses have severely hindered our ability to remain competitive and meet our financial obligations. Following a lengthy review process, and with the assistance of independent financial and legal advisors, our Board of Directors determined that a court-supervised process is the only feasible course of action.”
Atlantic Express has filed a series of customary motions with the Court seeking to ensure the continuation of normal operations, including requesting Court approval for debtor-in-possession financing and the use of cash collateral, the continuation of its cash management system and other business operations without interruption, as well as the payment of employee wages and benefits. In addition, Atlantic Express has filed a motion seeking approval of bidding procedures and authorization to sell some or all of its assets in December if Atlantic Express is unable to reach agreement with Local 1181 on a new collective bargaining agreement and obtain additional financing. The case number for Metro Affiliates (the lead debtor) is 13-13591.
About Atlantic Express Transportation Corp
Founded in 1964, Atlantic Express is the fourth-largest school bus corporation and the largest American-owned pupil transportation operation. The company employs more than 5,800 professionals who work throughout the nation transporting children in over 100 school districts. Since 1979, Atlantic Express has achieved an outstanding contract renewal rate of over 90% as a direct result of our regard for passenger safety and efficient, on-time service. Atlantic Express also operates commuter and charter coach service in the greater New York City region. For more information, visit www.atlanticexpress.com or 718-442-7000.
This press release contains "forward-looking statements." These statements are based on management's current expectations and assumptions, and as such involve a number of risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those that the Company now anticipates -- both in connection with the Chapter 11 filings the Company is announcing today and the Company's business and financial prospects. Statements of management's expectations, including its desire to successfully restructure in order to return the Company to long term viability and financial strength, to compete effectively in the marketplace, to cut costs and to restore profitability, are based on current assumptions and expectations. No assurance can be made that these events will come to fruition. Readers are referred to the documents filed by the Company with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which further identify the important risk factors which could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements in this release. The Company disclaims any obligation to update any forward- looking statements.
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