By Rochelle Maruch Miller
Independent Coach Corporation is a Five Towns treasure with a proud history. Founded and incorporated in 1941 by Mr. Francis Levett, the company has been setting standards of excellence for safety and signature service since its inception.
Mr. Levett started the company with one bus, which he drove and maintained. Within time he expanded the business as well as the number of buses. However, it was not until after World War II and the ensuing expansion of suburbia that the company began to experience substantial growth. After more than 60 years, the company’s first client, the Lawrence public schools, remains its largest.
Independent Coach Corporation and Mr. Levett have been at the forefront of many safety initiatives. Independent Coach was one of the first school-bus companies to have dual stop signs on its buses, rather than just one. Additionally, it was one of the first to include features like the new crossover mirrors, lights on the hood, and roofs painted in silver or white to reflect sunlight and heat. State law now mandates many of these features.
At the heart of the company since 1955 is Mr. Nicholas Fabrizio, who has been a dedicated employee of Independent Coach, beginning as a driver and mechanic. As a result of his hard work and devotion to the company, he began working together with Mr. Levett, where he learned every aspect of the school-bus industry. Eventually, Mr. Fabrizio became the general manager of all Independent Coach operations.
In May 1999, Mr. Fabrizio and his family purchased Independent Coach from the estate of Francis Levett, and Mr. Fabrizio became the company’s president. His extensive experience in the industry has resulted in the company’s long-lasting commitment to the safest transportation possible, using the most efficient and innovative methods in the industry.
From its humble beginnings, Independent Coach has evolved into the industry’s exemplar, with 300 vehicles in its fleet and approximately 380 employees. Currently, the company has two bus yards in the southwest section of Nassau County.
“Safety is one of our major concerns,” says Michael Fabrizio, vice-president of ICC. “We have an outstanding safety team in place. Our training has really developed into a class operation, under the expert direction of Calvin Bent. Every school bus gets inspected by New York State inspectors every six months. Every one of our buses conforms to New York State-mandated rules. Our new buses are air-conditioned and feature a Child Checkmate System. This safety feature prevents any child from being inadvertently left on a bus, as in order to actually turn off the bus, the driver must physically go to the back of the bus, thereby ensuring no child is left behind.”
“All bus drivers are regulated by the state safety team,” Michael explains. “We go over and beyond what we are mandated to do by New York State law. We maintain a file on every driver. Each of our drivers must take a refresher course twice a year.”
He adds, “Longevity, locality, safety, and integrity are what our company is all about. We are a family-run business, deeply rooted in the community; we were raised and live here. Many of the children we transport are third- and fourth-generation passengers of our company; we transported their parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents as well.”
“For Friday early dismissal for the religious schools, we provide transportation to over 100 schools within a two-hour period. We have a strong relationship with many schools, including public, private, and special-education, and we provide transportation to over 15 school districts.”
Mr. Nicholas Fabrizio and his family have represented the industry’s gold standard since assuming the company’s mantle of ownership. That they regard ICC as a labor of love rather than merely a business is evidenced by the unsurpassed service they afford every passenger as well as their stringent safety standards. This is precisely why they prefer hiring drivers who reside within the community and who share our values and concerns. “We are looking for local people, from within both the general and Orthodox communities, to drive our children, and we are willing to train them,” says Michael.
The company is licensed and insured, all Independent Coach Corporation’s vehicles are NYS DOT approved. For seven decades, Independent Coach Corporation has been serving the Five Towns and vicinity with unparalleled service. They provide a plethora of possibilities for all your transportation needs, including for bar and bat mitzvahs, weddings, sweet sixteens, field trips, airport and cruise-ship drop-off, and more.
For further information, please call 516-239-1100. Trust Independent Coach Corporation for a safe, comfortable, and enjoyable trip.