School Bus Safety-Technology Company Establishes East Coast Hub in Allentown
By Colin McEvoy on August 3, 2021
A Virginia-based school bus safety-technology company has leased an entire floor of a downtown Allentown office building, with plans to hire 50 employees from the local community and use the Lehigh Valley location as its East Coast hub.
BusPatrol America LLC has leased the fifth floor of Tower 6, a 12-floor Class A office building developed by City Center Investment Corp. at 600 Hamilton Street. Starting this month, the company will occupy all 12,500 square feet across the floor.
In addition to hiring 50 employees, BusPatrol plans to recruit 200 field service technicians to deploy and maintain BusPatrol safety equipment on school buses across Pennsylvania and the United States.
“BusPatrol’s establishment of an East Coast hub in downtown Allentown points to how well-suited this location’s vibrancy, affordability, first-class office space, and educated workforce are to a growing North American tech company,” said Jill Wheeler, City Center’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing.“Our proximity to New York City and Philadelphia is an important factor for companies.”
BusPatrol provides safety technology to school bus fleets across North America. The company equips buses with stop-arm cameras that can film drivers who illegally drive through school bus stop signs, and then works with law enforcement to issue violations to offenders.
“Our Allentown office will be the safety hub for all of Pennsylvania,” said Jean Souliere, CEO & Founder of BusPatrol. “This is where we will review violations and manage programs statewide. We are actively recruiting, so if you or someone you know is interested in building a safer future, please get in touch.”
Tower 6 is just one of several office buildings developed by CIty Center Investment Corp., the real estate development company revitalizing downtown Allentown. The company has invested more than $800 million in the city’s downtown, developing more than 3 million square feet to date and supporting more than 5,000 new people working downtown.
Tower 6 boasts steel and glass construction providing abundant light and stunning views, as well as cutting-edge environmental control systems, customized access control systems, and a mix of collaborative open space & private offices.
Designed by Spillman Farmer Architects and build by general contractor Serfass Development Partners, other key tenants at Tower 6 include Bank of America/Merrill Lynch, ESSA Bank, Avantor, Talen Energy, CAPTRUST, CrossAmerica Partners, NJR Energy Services, fedRFP, Lehigh Mining & Navigation, Iota Communications, and Morton Brown Family Wealth.
According to data from the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services, there are an estimated 17 million stop-arm violations each school year in the United States, putting students at risk.
In January 2021, the Allentown School District announced it would be the first in the state to take advantage of the BusPatrol program, which installs and operates the cameras at no cost to districts. BusPatrol recoups its expenses through violations to the offending drivers that disregard the buses’ stop-arm.
With support from BusPatrol and a concerned Allentown School District parent, state Sen. Pat Browne co-wrote legislation to establish the safety program, which was signed into law in July 2020. The law states that the school district gets $250 of each $300 fine to pay the stop-arm camera company and the remaining $50 is split between the local police issuing the citations and the state’s bus safety grant program.
“A few years ago, a six-year-old named Olivia was nearly hit by a passing car as she waited to board the school bus in Allentown,” Souliere said. “Now, Allentown is the first school district in Pennsylvania to launch a school bus safety program. This initiative will help to ensure that all students like Olivia can travel to school safely.”
BusPatrol technology is the most deployed school bus-safety program in the United States and is proven to reduce the number of stop-arm violations through education and enforcement. Communities that have implemented a BusPatrol program have seen a 30 percent reduction in illegal passing of school buses year-on-year.
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