American Transportation Enterprises (ATE) was formed in 1955 as a subsidiary of Allen & Co. In 1933 Charles Allen formed Allen & Co. as a family partnership, which in 1944 acquired the Cincinnati Newport & Covington Railway Co., and in 1951 acquired the Lehigh Valley Transit Co. United Transit Co. was incorporated in 1945, and was acquired by ATE in 1962. As more transit systems became publicly owned, ATE evolved to a management company for such transit systems. In 1986 ATE was sold to Ryder System, whose business was primarily in trucks, including rentals. At the time, Ryder System also acquired some school bus companies. In 1999, the ATE transit and school bus operations were resold to First Group, operating buses in Great Britain. First Group further expanded its North American presence in 2007 by acquiring Laidlaw. The US transit management subsidiary is now known as First Transit. The US school bus operations are known as First Student. And in Great Britain, First Group has since been popularizing the American yellow school bus concept.


Companies acquired by ATE in the years listed.

Companies acquired by United Transit Co. upon formation in 1945, acquired by ATE in 1962.