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Template:Infobox Company FirstGroup plc (Template:Lse) is a Scottish transport company operating in the United Kingdom, Ireland and North America, with headquarters in Aberdeen. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index.
FirstGroup plc is Britain's largest bus operator running more than one in five of all local bus services. A fleet of nearly 9,000 buses carries some 2.9 million passengers a day in more than 40 major towns and cities. FirstGroup also run passenger and freight rail services in the UK. Passenger rail franchises consist of First Great Western, First Capital Connect, First TransPennine Express and First ScotRail. They also operate First Hull Trains(a 80% share), a non-franchised open access intercity passenger train service and provide rail freight services through FirstGBRf. First operates the Croydon Tramlink network carrying approximately 24 million passengers a year on behalf of Transport for London, although its contract has been cancelled and will be transfered wholly to TfL.
In North America, FirstGroup has several divisions: First Student which runs school bus routes; First Transit which holds many city and county public transport contracts; and First Vehicle Services which maintains vehicles for many corporations, organisations and local governments, including the other First divisions and Greyhound lines. Canadian operations are provided through their First Canada subsidiary which operates school buses and fulfills public transport contracts.
FirstGroup has always had a consistent brand and most of the names of its operations begin with the word First, such as First ScotRail, First Aberdeen, First Glasgow and First Bristol. The company has since removed all local branding for its local bus services - buses now simply carry the fleet name ‘First’ throughout the UK, although each company still operates independently. Its corporate colours are white, rubine red and blue, and many of its buses and trains are now liveried in these colours - though buses and trams operating Transport for London-tendered services, and suburban rail services in Strathclyde operated on behalf of SPT retain those authorities' liveries - red, and carmine/cream respectively.
First own and operate the Aircoach service in Dublin, linking Dublin Airport with the Dublin southside suburbs as well as long distance runs to Cork and Belfast; as of 2007 this does not carry corporate branding.
The company was formed as FirstBus in June 1995 through the merger of two bus companies, the Badgerline Group (see Badgerline) and GRT Limited (Grampian Regional Transport).
In 1998 the company was renamed FirstGroup when the company moved into railways with the privatisation of British Rail, gaining the Great Eastern franchise, then purchasing Swindon based Great Western Trains, holders of the North Western and Great Western franchises. Soon after, they also began operating London’s Tramlink system under franchise from London Transport.
During 2004, First were awarded the ScotRail franchise to run trains in Scotland, in which it already operated the lion’s share of bus services, and took over the new TransPennine Express franchise in partnership with French transport company Keolis. In addition, First Great Western run the Heathrow Connect service in partnership with BAA.
The First North Western franchise, however, was lost to Serco/NedRailways in December 2004. First North Western’s services in northern England were combined with those previously run by Arriva Trains Northern (and not part of the Transpennine network) to form the new Northern Rail franchise.
First have also lost First Great Eastern to National Express Group who operate it as National Express East Anglia. In fact, they were banned from bidding for the franchise, despite being named Train Operator of the Year at the time.
From 1st April 2006 First has operated a new rail franchise under the brand First Capital Connect. This comprises the amalgamation of the existing Great Northern line of the former wagn service and the Thameslink line.
New World First Bus (NWFB) of Hong Kong was jointly established and owned by the group and NWS Holdings Limited since 1998 . The brand new company had successfully won the tender of 88 Hong Kong Island routes formerly operated by China Motor Bus. In late 2000, the group sold all 26% of NWFB stocks to NWS Holdings.
In February 2007, FirstGroup agreed to buy the U.S.-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 gives them a controlling stake in Greyhound Lines, the largest bus operator in North America.
On October 1, 2007 Firstgroup completed its acquisition of Laidlaw to become the largest school bus company in America.
First also operate bus services in Germany and have a joint venture with Danish State Railways.
First's senior management are as follows: 
- Martin Gilbert - Non-Executive Chairman
- Moir Lockhead - Deputy Chairman and Chief Executive
- Dean Finch - Chief Operating Officer - North America
- David Leeder - Director of International Development and Marketing
- Sidney Barrie - Commercial Director and Company Secretary
- Nicholas Chevis - Acting Finance Director
- David Dunn - Senior Independent Non-Executive Director
- James Forbes - Non-Executive Director
- Audrey Baxter - Non-Executive Director
- David Begg - Non-Executive Director
- James Forbes - Non-Executive Director
- John Sievwright - Non-Executive Director
- Martyn Williams - Non-Executive Employee Director
- First Capital Connect
- First Great Western
- First TransPennine Express (55% stake) 
- First ScotRail
- Hull Trains (80% stake) 
Light rail services Edit
Bus and coach servicesEdit
- First Glasgow (formerly First Kelvin and First Greater Glasgow)
- First Aberdeen (formerly First Grampian)
- First Edinburgh (formerly First SMT, First Borders and First Midland Bluebird)
- First Pennine (which forms part of First Manchester)
- First Leeds
- First York (including the York Park and Ride operated by First)
- First Bradford
- First Calderdale & Huddersfield
- First Manchester
- First South Yorkshire
- First Potteries (Operating in Staffordshire and South Cheshire)
- First Chester & The Wirral
- ChesterBus (Local services within the City of Chester)
- First Leicester
- First Northampton
- First Eastern Counties
- First Midland Red Buses Limited (sometimes referred to as First Wyvern)
- First Cymru
- First Berkshire & The Thames Valley (formerly First Beeline)
- First Somerset & Avon (formerly Badgerline and the Somerset operations of First Southern National)
- First Essex (formerly First Eastern National)
- First London & South East
- First Bristol (formerly First Cityline)
- First Hampshire & Dorset (formerly First Southampton, First Provincial and the Dorset operations of First Southern National)
- First Devon & Cornwall (formerly First Western National)
- Truronian (sub brand of First Devon & Cornwall due to become part of First Devon & Cornwall)
Outside the UK Edit
- Aircoach (Dublin)
- New World First Bus (Hong Kong)
- First Transit (Bus and rapid transit in USA)
- First Student (School Bus services all over United States)
- Greyhound Lines
In 2003 First introduced the SemaVoyager system of fleet numbering across all its fleets. Vehicles now carry five-digit fleet numbers, with the first digit denoting vehicle type, as follows:
- 1xxxx: Articulated buses
- 2xxxx: Coaches
- 3xxxx: Double-deck buses
- 4xxxx: Midibuses
- 5xxxx: Minibuses
- 6xxxx: Full-length single-deck buses
Services formerly operatedEdit
- First Great Eastern (until April 2004, now operated by National Express Group as National Express East Anglia - formally known as 'ONE')
- First North Western (until December 2004, services now operated by Northern Rail, TransPennine Express, Arriva Trains Wales and Virgin Trains.)
- Corporate web site
- FirstGroup America
- FirstBus Canada
- First Student (US)
- First Transit (US)
- Aircoach web site
- York Aircoach web site
- Driving Up Standards - Trade union website