Student Transportation of America (STA) announced that Ronald Halley, Vice President of Fleet and Facilities, will lead the company’s new Electric Vehicle Pilot Program.
He will oversee all aspects of the program, including rollout, partnerships and data collection, as STA begins introducing electric buses this summer to select markets on the East and West Coasts.
STA operates more than 16,000 vehicles in the US and neighbouring Canada.
STA Chief Operating Officer Gene Kowalczewski said, “STA has invested for years in building the foundation for the Electric Vehicle Pilot Program. Executing that vision, and putting the right people in place to move it forward, is the next step. Ron brings not only experience but results leading diesel-alternative programs. There isn’t anyone better to guide STA’s electric initiative and accelerate the industry’s shift toward lower-emission school buses.”
As part of the Electric Vehicle Pilot Program, Halley’s team will track battery life, monitor component life, and collect other key data. With electric fleets planned for urban, suburban and rural areas, this information will give STA actionable intelligence about the performance of electric vehicles in distinct operating environments.
Halley said, “The nationwide reach of STA puts us in a position to launch electric vehicles in strategically selected neighbourhoods, all of which have vastly different traffic and weather patterns that could affect overall performance. What we learn we can apply toward the future.”
STA was the first to introduce propane and alternative-fuel vehicles to several communities, including St. Paul, Minn.; Grand Junction, Colo.; Canby, Lake Oswego and Tigard, Ore. Later, it expanded its Green Fleet initiative to markets across the country.
To date, STA has replaced more than 2,000 diesel-engine school buses with alternative-fuel vehicles. The company has received a Green Fleet Magazine Sustainability All-Star Award for its leadership in the space.
Halley is a 45-year veteran of the transportation industry. He graduated from Lincoln Technical Institute in Indianapolis and holds a degree in Automotive and Diesel Technology.
He started his career as a package-handler at UPS, working his way up to District Automotive Manager. During his tenure, in partnership with Washington Natural Gas, he converted vehicles to compressed natural gas (CNG) and installed a CNG compressor station and charging manifold at the UPS site in Bladensburg, Maryland.
He was previously Director of Assets at Harsco Metals and Minerals, a worldwide provider of steel mill services, and a Senior Manager at FedEx Ground.
He joined the STA in 2012 when it purchased 400 propane-powered vehicles — the largest all-propane school bus fleet in the United States — to serve public schools in Omaha, Nebraska. He played a key role in STA’s move to the forefront of the industry in the use of electric, propane, compressed natural gas and biofuels.
As Vice President of Fleet and Facilities, Halley is responsible for designing and coordinating maintenance processes, and new facilities for STA’s vehicles throughout the country. He also leads the company’s alternative fuel program, working closely with manufacturing and energy partners to expand the company’s Green Fleet of lower-emission vehicles.