SD Transit keeps rolling along

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As an accomplished entrepreneur, a goal of Stephanie Durrett, owner of S D Transit, Inc., is to employ 100 or more people.

For the past 12 years, the equal opportunity employer has provided jobs for drivers, mechanics, schedulers as well as office and maintenance workers. Looking forward to the future, her desire for SD Transit is to locate to a larger site, to expand the number of luxury buses and to leave a legacy for her family. “A business for my two sons to continue on,” she said.

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WHAT A TEAM— Efficiently taking care of the clients’ needs and safety is a priority of the SD Transit management team. Cede Mathis, office manager; Stephanie Durrett, CEO and president; Toya Cobb, garage manager; Martessa Moore, safety coordinator; and Chris Trowery, son and mechanic. (Photos by Diane I. Daniels)

Located at 512 Braddock Avenue, SD Transit is a provider of transportation services. Since its inception and with its initial contract still in place, SD Transit has grown from one van to a fleet of approximately 50 school vans, busses and fully equipped motor coaches.

“This business was started by my late husband Kenny with a contract with the Wilkinsburg School District to transport special needs children,” Durrett said. “He coached girls’ basketball and was granted a one year contract with the district.” In January of 2001 he passed away.

A flight attendant with USAirways at the time and after being stranded in North Carolina nine months later during the events of September 11, 2001 Durrett soon resigned her position to continue the vision she and her husband had to operate as a multi-dimensional transportation company. She operated from her home with three used vans and ten percent of the Wilkinsburg School District transportation services. Durrett pointed out that last year she gained 100 percent of the Wilkinsburg contract and has a five year contract with the Pittsburgh Public Schools.

In 2005 Durrett purchased and completely renovated the current facility which houses the business office and garages where all buses and vans are maintained. It also serves as a training site for safety and CDL classes.

Throughout the years SD Transit has serviced the Steel Valley School District, the Manchester Charter School Districts and the Frick Arts Historical Center. Transportation services have also been provided to organizations such as The Hill House Association, Youth Places and the Homewood YWCA. Committed to providing children with the safest transportation, Durrett pointed out that SD Transit owns vans with lifts to accompany children with special needs. As a result through her contracts with the Wilkinsburg and Steel Valley school districts she has been able to service sites such as the Children’s Institute, Goodwill Industries, Inc., Holy Family Institute, Pressley Ridge and Western Pennsylvania School for the Blind. As a full service transportation organization, the business offers to its clients fully trained and supervised drivers and aides which include behavior modification techniques. Durrett indicated that her employees are routinely screened and tested for drugs and alcohol and that the drivers must have their Act 33/34 Pennsylvania clearances and attend safety classes.

Throughout the years the company has provided transportation services for youth inclusive of sports activities, afterschool programs and daycare activities. Services have expanded to activities for adults focusing on shopping trips, casino runs, and Bingo trips. Recently acquiring fully equipped motor coaches, SD Transit has the capabilities to host and sponsor customized special trips.

“We are now equipped to do long distance travel and have done trips to New York, Florida and South Carolina,” said Durrett, indicating that they are looking to do trips for family reunions, conferences, tours, weddings and special events. She pointed out that SD Transit is sponsoring a trip to the Hampton Jazz Festival in 2013.

With her all female management team and the help of her sons, Durrett said their goal is to be creative and efficient while providing friendly and professional service. The luxury busses are furnished with comfortable seating, wifi, music and movie monitors.

While gaining on the job training throughout the time of operating and building SD Transit, Durrett said her time with USAirways helped prepare her for the journey. She is a Westinghouse High School graduate and attended Community College of Allegheny County.

Known for coaching youth in basketball throughout the city, her husband, basketball great Kenneth “Kenny” Durrett, a Schenley High School graduate attended LaSalle University. He was a first round draft pick for the Kansas City Kings and ended his professional basketball career with the Philadelphia 76ers. Since his death, Stephanie has diligently been working to fulfill the vision they initiated, to operate as a multi-dimensional transportation company. SD Transit has expanded from one van transporting special needs children to the goal of owning numerous coach buses to transport people of all ages and capabilities nationwide. The sky is the limit for Durrett and her staff.

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