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FirstGroup plc is a Scottish transport company operating in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, and Denmark, with headquarters in Aberdeen.


In February 2007 FirstGroup agreed to buy the US-based firm Laidlaw, an operator of inter-city coaches and yellow school buses across North America, for £1.9 billion (US$3.7 billion). This also gave them a controlling stake in Greyhound Lines, the largest bus operator in North America. The Greyhound name and the names of Canadian subsidiaries of Greyhound Canada were retained, and all other Laidlaw-owned services in the United States and Canada were rebranded under the First or Greyhound names, with the exception of Voyageur Colonial and Grey Goose in Canada.

On April 23, 2021, FirstGroup announced it has entered into an agreement for the sale of its North American operations (First Student and First Transit) to EQT Infrastructure. The sale is subject to both FirstGroup shareholder approval and regulatory approval.[1] [2] On July 22, 2021, EQT Infrastructure completed acquisition of First Student and First Transit. [3] First Student and First Transit operations will continue as usual and uninterrupted with the same local teams and leadership,[4] and retained their names despite no longer having any connection to parent FirstGroup.

Current Divisions

First Bus

First Bus is a major operator of local bus services in the United Kingdom.

First Rail

First Rail owns four major UK rail operating companies, as well as two open-access passenger rail services. They are also contracted by Transport for London to operate the London Trams service.

Former Divisions

First Student

First Student operates in 38 of the United States, carrying over 5 million passengers daily, covering over 1,000 school districts with its fleet of 40,000 buses. Its Canadian counterpart is First Student Canada, which operates in four Canadian provinces.

First Transit

First Transit operated transit and shuttle operations across the United States and Canada. In 2021, First Transit was sold to EQT Infrastructure, becoming a separate company from FirstGroup. First Transit was sold to Transdev North America in 2022, with all contracts switching to the Transdev name in March 2023.

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See First Canada for a list of transit contracts operated in Canada.

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Greyhound Lines was acquired by FirstGroup through its purchase of Laidlaw Transportation in 2007. In 2009, FirstGroup expanded the Greyhound branding to create a new low-cost intercity carrier in the UK. Greyhound UK ceased operations in 2015; Greyhound Canada discontinued operations in May 2020, and was permanently closed in 2021; and Greyhound Lines was sold to Flixbus in 2021.


  1. [1]FirstGroup Enters Agreement to Sell First Student and First Transit
  2. [2]EQT Infrastructure to acquire First Student and First Transit, the market leading providers of essential North American transportation services, for USD 4.6bn
  3. [3]EQT Infrastructure completes acquisition of First Student and First Transit, the market leading providers of essential North American transportation services
  4. [4]EQT Infrastructure Closes Acquisition of First Student and First Transit
  5. First Transit wins U. of Buffalo contract extension,, retrieved 2010-08-22