"A new statute in Illinois makes safety the primary consideration in public schools awarding contracts to school bus operators. This replaces the taxpayer-friendly rule that contracts should be awarded to the qualified provider that bids the lowest price. Safety has already been part of qualification. The statute passed the Illinois Legislature at the behest of the Teamsters Union, which has a master agreement with First Student School Bus Transportation Services (a subsidiary of the UK's First Group). The agreement makes it difficult for First Student to compete on price with relatively union-free operators such as Durham School Services (a subsidiary of the UK's National Express Group)."