GREENWOOD, S.C. — A non-profit agency recently took delivery of what was called a landmark procurement for South Carolina.
The Emerald Center, which serves children and adults with disabilities throughout five counties, bought 13 new Thomas Built Minotour buses from Interstate Transportation Equipment in Columbia, S.C.
Of the order, Emerald Center Executive Director Felton Burton said that school buses “are proven to be the safest mode of surface transportation.”
Burton, who is also a 31-year veteran of the South Carolina State Highway Patrol, said the agency felt that Minotours in particular have outstanding safety features and durability. He cited the Minotours’ continuous 14-gauge steel rafters that provide extraordinary roof strength, the side and rear emergency exits and the high-back seats with seat belts.
Todd Manuel, sales manager at Interstate Transportation Equipment, said the order was one of the largest non-school district purchases of mini-buses in the state.
With a fleet that includes 38 Minotours — 28 of which are standard 15-passenger models and 10 of which are EL (extended length) models with wheelchair lifts — the Emerald Center serves more than 1,000 passengers and travels more than 3,000 miles per day. The agency has three facilities to which it transports children and adults.