Insolvency unlikely to affect bus service

Julia Aizuss

School bus operations will remain unaffected by Atlantic Express Transportation Corp.’s declaration of bankruptcy, Bus Service Director Patti Snodgrass said Dec. 4 in an email to all families who use the bus service.

Snodgrass said the school has been in contact with Atlantic Express management for about a month and that riders will not be affected by the bankruptcy.

“We do not foresee impairment to Harvard-Westlake bus service,” Snodgrass said. “Were that outlook to change, we would notify you promptly of contingency plans.”

Chief Financial Officer Rob Levin compared Atlantic’s bankruptcy to that of airlines like American Airlines and United Airlines, who have declared bankruptcy in recent years but continue to operate. He called this kind of bankruptcy a “reorganization,” in which the people who have ownership equity in the company lose it so that the company can pay off its creditors.

“People who owned pieces of the company, they lose their money, but the company keeps going,” Levin said,

“We don’t have 100 percent assurance, but it’s looking very good that in terms of the California operation, it’s going to keep operating fine,” Levin added. “So if you’re an investor at Atlantic Express, big news. If you’re a rider on Atlantic Express, as students are, it’s probably going to be a nonevent.”

“There are West Coast operations and East Coast operations and they are in very different financial states, and we do not anticipate that West Coast service will be challenged at all by the business deals that are going on,” Head of School Jeanne Huybrechts said.