History

A history in family, safety, education
Kellie Dean and son Patrick being presented the 1995 North America Contractor of the Year Award by Frank Di Giacomo, publisher of School Bus Fleet Magazine.

Dean Transportation, formerly Special Transportation, was established in the early 1950's by Mr. Eric Christensen. Mr. Christensen transported individuals affected by polio to Lansing area schools throughout the 1950's and the early 1960's. In 1969 Special Transportation was incorporated by Mr. Lyle L. Stephens, a former Michigan State Police Motor Carrier Lieutenant and a leader in passenger safety.

In 1986, Mr. Kellie P. Dean joined Mr. Stephens, leaving a position in the Lansing School District after fourteen years. While working for the district, Mr. Dean was a teacher's aid, special education teacher and special education administrator in charge of the programs for the Physically or Otherwise Health and Hearing Impaired. Mr. Dean is a graduate of Michigan State University’s College of Education and holds an undergraduate degree in Special Education and a Masters Degree in School Administration. 

In 1991, Special Transportation changed its name to Dean Transportation, Inc. In 1995, Mr. Stephens retired after 26 years in the school transportation industry.

Dean Transportation has made a significant impact on the Specialized Transportation industry through Stephens' and Dean’s advocacy for the disabled.  Legal action, with the help of Attorney Lynwood Beekman, was taken against the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the U.S. Department of Transportation for their ongoing failure to develop Federal Guidelines to safely transport Special Needs individuals.  After a five-year battle in Washington D.C., Dean Transportation's efforts helped force NHTSA to develop new equipment specifications for wheelchairs and wheelchair tie-down equipment, which is now available for the safety of our nation’s disabled passengers.

Today, Dean Transportation serves school districts, intermediate school districts, and public transit agencies throughout the State of Michigan and has become one of largest privately-owned transportation companies in the country.

Dean Transportation has twice been named the top school bus company in North America and was recently awarded two environmental awards for its commitment to clean transportation.

Dean Transportation also provides transit services on behalf of local transit agencies. Dean currently operates approximately seventy-five vehicles on behalf of the Capital Area Transportation Authority in Lansing, Michigan.

Dean Transportation's sister company Dean Charters and Tours was started in 1994 to support Dean Transportation's efforts in transporting students to school throughout Michigan. Today, Dean Charters and Tours (DBA Dean Trailways of Michigan) is one of the largest motor coach operators in Michigan. Dean Trailways provides luxury transportation services to schools, universities, and individual charter groups.