MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. — Blue Bird Corp. introduced the latest offering of its Type D All American school bus here at the National Association for Pupil Transportation’s annual trade show.
“We based the development of this new bus heavily on the needs and desires of end users,” said Roger Howsmon, Blue Bird’s chief marketing officer and senior vice president of sales. “Through extensive research, we were able to identify features that are important to drivers, service technicians and transportation directors. We redesigned the bus to implement those features, making the new All American our safest and most reliable bus yet.”
According to Joe Frabotta, product development manager, these features increase visibility and safety, with a larger front windshield and wipers that clear approximately 90 percent of the visible area.
The vehicle’s entrance is wider, taller, power-controlled and has no change in the step dimensions from the ground floor. The emergency exit door is also wider, with larger, bonded windows. A new steering system allows for a wheel cut of up to 50 degrees, enhancing vehicle maneuverability.
The bus is available in a front- or rear-engine configuration and features progressive styling, a one-piece body bow and a coach-style profile. Its exterior displays a restyled warning light module and roof caps. Inside the bus, the driver’s platform has been eliminated; driver ergonomics have also been improved, with more room and better instrumentation placement and grouping. Passenger seats are high-back and channel-mounted.
Dennis Whitaker, vice president of product development for Blue Bird, said the new All American school bus will go into production in spring 2009.