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IC RE 1629
Top Member

United States
5097 Posts

Posted - 07/06/2005 :  12:37:17 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Blue Birds conventionals are kinda neat. I think of them as being a classic American school bus. Prince William County has several 1991 Blue Bird Chevy's. They are kinda neat, though many have been retired recently. The rest were due to be retired this summer I believe.

Rappahannock County in the Northern half of Virginia has a lot of Blue Bird conventionals. A couple of GMC's, but mostly International chassis. They did buy one of the new Blue Bird coventionals on the new International chassis. I must say it is a nice looking bus. I should try to get a picture of it soon. We see it every time we pass there parking compound on the way to my dad's cabin in New Market.
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BusFreak
Top Member

USA
798 Posts

Posted - 07/06/2005 :  3:48:21 PM  Show Profile  Send BusFreak an AOL message  Reply with Quote
There was alot of Blue Bird down in that area for the longest time. Virginia Beach always had a good mix of both major manufacturers, and in the late 90s they were getting tons of blue bird conventionals. Things seem to be switching over to Thomas for them though, with lots of freights and HDXs. They also have a small handfull of type A buses, and about 20 full sized Vistas from 1995-1996. Norfolk also had a good number of Vistas from the early-mid 90s.

vabuslover, do you remember when Hampton City Schools used to transport the high school kids on PenTran transit buses with the swing out traffic warning sign? I think that has all gone away with the merge of Pentran and TRT (HRT). I always thought that was interesting though. York County has ALOT of those manual transmission buses, as does New Kent County. Honestly, Id say that most of Virginia was manual transmission up untill the demise of the 3800 chassis. I'm sure there are still a few who are getting the Freights with sticks (Spotsylvania JUST started getting autos).

=
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vabuslover
Advanced Member

United States
246 Posts

Posted - 07/06/2005 :  4:43:29 PM  Show Profile  Click to see vabuslover's MSN Messenger address  Reply with Quote
I think that Hampton City Schools still uses HRT to bus their middle and high school students, because every now and then there is an article about how people don't like public transportation busses acting as school busses. I don't either, they dont have the safety flashing lights.
The Blue Bird Conventionals owned by VA Beach are GMCs, they used to have some older BB Fords, which are now retired. They, along with Norfolk, Chesapeake and Portsmouth are getting a lot of those FS-65 Thomases. I think Portsmouth has a few IC COnventionals too.
For the longest time I have seen Chesapeake with Thomas ERs and Saf-T-Liner ERs. They used to have Thomas Fords, which I have seen them auction off. Now they are all RE Transit busses.
Suffolk I think has some BB AAREs, or they might be much newer-looking TC200 REs. They, too also had some Fords on many different kinds of bodies, possibly Ward or Wayne.
I don't know if you all know about Poquoson, the LOWEST point in Virginia, but I have seen only a couple of their busses. They have AmTran Genesis FEs, possibly some Amtran REs, and Thomas FS-65s, but that is all I know on them.
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IC RE 1629
Top Member

United States
5097 Posts

Posted - 07/06/2005 :  5:09:34 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Are there C2's down that way? Spotsylvania County is the only county I know of that has any C2's. They have 2 of them.

There are alot of major Thomas districts. Some though are now buying other buses. Fauquier County for instance bought alot of Thomas conventionals. They also have a few Blue Bird International conventionals in the late 90's to early 2000's range. Now they are buying IC CE's. They've been buying those since 2003 or so.
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vabuslover
Advanced Member

United States
246 Posts

Posted - 07/06/2005 :  5:32:49 PM  Show Profile  Click to see vabuslover's MSN Messenger address  Reply with Quote
Never seen a C2 up close either...Only place they might be is in Virginia Beach or Chesapeake or Norfolk as they have newer Thomases.
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BusFreak
Top Member

USA
798 Posts

Posted - 07/06/2005 :  11:48:33 PM  Show Profile  Send BusFreak an AOL message  Reply with Quote
RIGHT...vabuslover! Virginia beach has not only some BB GMC conventionals, but also alot of international bb conventionals. ALL of the regular ed have the T444E engine. They do have some of the C2s along the way, or they are already there. They also have atleast two BB All American REs from 1999, and a few Thomas HDX CNG buses from the early 2000s. All the rest from the later days are Thomas Freightliners with MBE engines.

From what I have seen, Poquoson has the AmTran FEs with heavy specs, including tinted windows, white roofs, and plenty of under floor storage space. Glouchester (spelling???) has similar specs to York and New Kent Counties.

Believe it or not, the newest Portsmouth and Norfolk City Schools buses I have seen are Thomas Internationals with tinted windows, manual doors, and white roofs. Not that that means very much, but thats how old I am. I grew up in Virginia Beach WAY back in the day.

=
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vabuslover
Advanced Member

United States
246 Posts

Posted - 07/07/2005 :  04:18:10 AM  Show Profile  Click to see vabuslover's MSN Messenger address  Reply with Quote
I have seen quite a few Gloucester buses, as I have been to Gloucester a lot. I do not know the years of their busses, but They have what look like older Thomas Internationals, again similar to York County. They also have Blue Bird Internationals, and are now getting the newer IC-CE busses. I think they also have some much older busses, but haven't seen to many of them. They look to be a different body type from BB or Thomas.
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IC RE 1629
Top Member

United States
5097 Posts

Posted - 07/07/2005 :  04:52:12 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
BusFreak, you mention some Thomas HDX buses that run on CNG. Do they work well? I know we tried to start a CNG program here in 1994, but it didn't work.

What kind of engine do they have in the CNG buses?
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vabuslover
Advanced Member

United States
246 Posts

Posted - 07/07/2005 :  05:41:23 AM  Show Profile  Click to see vabuslover's MSN Messenger address  Reply with Quote
She said that those busses are in Virginia Beach, so we are not too sure if they are any good or not. I wish that we could get people from down in my area to come in and talk about busses.
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poor_driver
Senior Member

162 Posts

Posted - 07/07/2005 :  4:31:15 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Reporting from South Central VA and other rural counties: this is not current just off the top of my head from what i remember last year or so:) (in alphabetical order)

* all buses are conventional unless otherwise stated*

Amelia County- from as far as i can remember this was a strict thomas international fleet, every once in a while they would try a gmc or ford. To this day, they have remained true to international going with IC, with the exception of one or two freighters. they have no transit style buses but they do have a few int/vistas.

Appomattox county- don't really know much about them just that their buses are spec to 54 pass or less. not quite sure what it is but i do know that their buses are shorter than the surrounding counties. they run international on thomas and a few amtran.

Buckingham county- don't really know alot about Buckingham but i can say that as far as i have been paying attention to them, they have been a thomas district, running Int and Gmc's. They do have two Thomas HDX as far as i know.

Brunswick County- This district first caught my attention because of the mixture of the fleet. Bluebirds/Carpenter and Thomas with chassis ranging from Chevy/Gmc to International and Fords. They had a lot of Bluebird chevy/gmcs/Fords. In recent years due to driver input, they county has been replacing their buses. They are still buying a mixture of international IC's/Bluebirds mainly and i saw a one 98-99 ford thomas. Haven't seen any Transit style yet.

Cumberland County- this is one of the counties around that keep their buses for a long time (getting the bang for the buck. With the price of buses and fuel, can you blame them?. This fleet consist of thomas freighters and the New IC's. several older thomas int/gmcs round out this county's fleet.

Charlotte county- Bluebird county, charlotte is another county that will get their bang for their buck. International and Ford are their chassis. The first signs of thomas in that county came in a 98 or 99 thomas international. Not much more is known about this county right now. Charlotte does have atleast one Bluebird FE.

Dinwiddie County- Mostly international Bluebirds but they are now buying thomas freighters and i thought i saw a couple of the new IC's. Dinwiddie does run Thomas EF's.

Greensville County- had many bluebirds (gmcs,chevys) but now i see that they are following the Dinwiddie trend with Thomas and Ic's. they have atleast one transit (thomas RE around 1997) it's been a long time since i've been there.

Lunenburg county- this was the home of the Thomas Gmc and Chevy. This is another county that "back in the day of super narrow roads" ordered the 54 pass or less. Within the past 7 or 8 years, Lunenburg has started to purchase the "standard" 64 pass buses. Internationals were here and there in the 80's, but when chevy and gmc got out the business, international reigned supreme and remains their chassis to this very day, even causing them to switch over to IC. There are no transit style buses in this fleet.

Mecklenburg county- just by driving when school was letting out, you can clearly see that this was also a Bluebird county. This county caught my attention because of the age of bluebirds still in service. Many of the buses were Ford and chevy/gmc Bluebirds. last year i saw signs of thomas in their ranks with a thomas special needs bus.

Nottoway county- this is a Thomas Ford county since 1969. now there have been a year they tried an International (1996), dodge (1977 model)and chevy/gmc 77-82). In 1997, this county bought their last thomas ford. From that day on they have been strict thomas Freighters. they do have two vista special needs and one thomas RE 1990 model for activities purposes. Like charlotte and cumberland, Nottoway keep their buses for a long time too. Not by choice but because of money i suppose.

Prince Edward- This county has been (in my eyes) the most stylish county around. International thomas reign supreme since early 90's. the spotlight ws shared in the 80's along side Ford and GMC. i found out recently that prince edward was a Wayne county in the 50's up early 70's. They style issue comes in with Prince Edward being the first county around that started to get the white roof spec, tinted windows, and lastly mud flaps. their buses look good because those buses are always shining when i see them. Now they are going to freightliners. They do have a few Carpenters that are spares. they do run thomas RE's, two HDX and three 98-99 models.

Prince George- this is also a thomas Ford county. don't really know alot about them. i believe that they switch over to freighters now.

Powhatan - ( i think that's spelled right) bluebird/thomas county as far as i know. this county is not really rural anymore being that it's taking the over flow of chesterfield residents moving in. international is their main chassis with freighters coming in second. One transit Bluebird is in their fleet as long as i know. it's and RE and it's used for Activity purposes.

Sussex County- driving past their bus shop a while back i saw that they were a straight carpenter fleet i believe in the late 70's early 80's. Now they have thomas int and freights.

Now this information was compiled by a individual who has had a loooooooooooong day. As stated before this is not current to July 7 2005, but i would be happy to clear up any questions you may have,or if you want to know more about the specs a particular county have.
this comes from my memory from about 1-5 years ago and if anyone is from the area i'm talking about, you know things change slow and laidback down here.:) i love it!!!1

In closing most of the localities in this part of the state have switch over from gas to diesel in the 80's. Counties like Brunswick, Mecklenburg (for example) have older buses running because of the
county's size and because of the lack of any significant economic development that would put more money in the school system. I applaud all rural counties that keep the oldies going. that's it for now!!!
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BusFreak
Top Member

USA
798 Posts

Posted - 07/08/2005 :  12:16:06 AM  Show Profile  Send BusFreak an AOL message  Reply with Quote
Poor Driver, are most of those conventionals you mention Manual transmission? and are any of those counties still purchasing manual transmission to this day? Im just curious.

=
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vabuslover
Advanced Member

United States
246 Posts

Posted - 07/08/2005 :  04:45:32 AM  Show Profile  Click to see vabuslover's MSN Messenger address  Reply with Quote
If I could ever drive a bus, it would be an old GMC bus.
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IC RE 1629
Top Member

United States
5097 Posts

Posted - 07/08/2005 :  06:26:36 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Wow, poor driver, that is awesome. Thank you for sharing that. I too along with BusFreak am interested in whether or not they still have manuals.

I know Spotsylvania County just started buying buses with auto's.
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poor_driver
Senior Member

162 Posts

Posted - 07/08/2005 :  1:46:49 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Before i answer the main question i must update two counties. Powhatan has and is buy IC's also. Cumberland has an Amtran FE and a Thomas HDX. (i saw these particular updates today)

Answer to the question about the manual transmissions.

The only districts that i can comment on about the manual transmissions are Lunenburg, Amelia and Prince Edward. Lunenburg has received their first automatics this year (ICs). Prince Edward has had standards up until 1999, in 2000 they started buying auto (freighters). Amelia start buying automatics (ICs) in about 2000 i think. Nottoway has been automatic since 1985. Sorry don't really know much about the others.

I would assume if not all, over half of Dinwiddie is an automatic fleet because of it's closeness to Petersburg (which had alot of Thomas Fords, now switching to Freighters). Most of the counties that still buy manuals has alot of hills and dirt roads in them. i did talk to one driver that district started to buy automatics and they said that when it's time for them to get a bus, they hopw that they get a manual because the automatic don't drive as well. In closing, i believe that everybody has a mixture of both so i can't be for sure until i find more information.

Hope that was of some help. This is fun anymore questions?
Hope that answer your question.


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Drew19
Top Member

USA
651 Posts

Posted - 07/08/2005 :  4:50:24 PM  Show Profile  Send Drew19 a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by IC RE 1629

BusFreak, you mention some Thomas HDX buses that run on CNG. Do they work well? I know we tried to start a CNG program here in 1994, but it didn't work.

What kind of engine do they have in the CNG buses?



I think it's a john deer engine.
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IC RE 1629
Top Member

United States
5097 Posts

Posted - 07/08/2005 :  4:56:25 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I thought so. John Deere has been making CNG engines for a little while now, and they seem to me to be popular with those using CNG.
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IC RE 1629
Top Member

United States
5097 Posts

Posted - 07/10/2005 :  06:13:02 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I went by the New Baltimore International place near Warrenton, Va yesterday. I saw a few buses there. There were a couple of Fairfax buses there, but I saved that for the Fairfax thread.

On another note, there was a 2002 IC CE for Culpeper County. There were two 03-04 IC CE's for Fauqier County, A 1980's Thomas International for Walnut Grove Child Care Center, A 1990's Blue Bird International for The Potomac School, and a late 80's early 90's Carpenter International for Highland School.

Anyone know anything about places like Highland School or The Potomac School or any of the other places I listed above?
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disneynuts
Advanced Member

USA
220 Posts

Posted - 07/10/2005 :  06:17:39 AM  Show Profile  Visit disneynuts's Homepage  Reply with Quote
the potomac school is located in mclean, just off 123 by the cia.

they have about 35-40 buses, all different makes and models and sizes.

the last new ones were ic's 36 pax with a/c.

you can ride right up to the lot. north on 123 to right onto potomac school road follow into the school.

the highland school has a smaller fleet, maybe 6-10 buses.
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IC RE 1629
Top Member

United States
5097 Posts

Posted - 07/10/2005 :  06:18:56 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Wow, thank you. I will have to go up there and check it out.

Does anyone know anything about Fauquier County's fleet? I know they have 100+ buses. I also know they park alot of buses in a hidden lot on Business Rt. 29 in Warrenton, Va. Where else do they park their buses?

Edited by - IC RE 1629 on 07/10/2005 10:24:39 AM
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Bus 801
Advanced Member

USA
410 Posts

Posted - 07/10/2005 :  10:43:54 AM  Show Profile  Send Bus 801 an AOL message  Reply with Quote
Me and Scott went to the Potomac School yard a few months ago. I took a few pictures there. They mainly have all conventionals, Thomas's, Blue Birds, Chevy Waynes, and the new 05 IC CE's. They do have a lot of nice buses there.

Rob
Floater 421

http://community.webshots.com/user/bus801

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IC RE 1629
Top Member

United States
5097 Posts

Posted - 07/10/2005 :  3:18:27 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I will going down there soon to check it out. Are their any other private schools in the area that have a fair amount of buses like Potomac School?

Bringing back my previous question.....
Does anyone know anything about Fauquier County's fleet? I know they have 100+ buses. I also know they park alot of buses in a hidden lot on Business Rt. 29 in Warrenton, Va. Where else do they park their buses?
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IC
Top Member

USA
3413 Posts

Posted - 07/10/2005 :  4:05:03 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Anybody know about Flint Hill School....big private school on Jermantown Rd? I was turning around in their lot the other day and saw a bunch of buses parked.....mostly nice late model Thomas conventionals. But the were painted navy blue? Didn't see a SCHOOL bus there at all. They must be activity buses....a school bus HAS to be yellow, right? Maybe they own activity buses and contract out the student transportation?
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IC RE 1629
Top Member

United States
5097 Posts

Posted - 07/10/2005 :  5:17:34 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Your right IC, a school bus must be painted school bus yellow by federal law. Sorry, I don't know anything about that school. I've heard of it before, but that's about as far it goes.

Just a note, I added some new pictures to the "Misc. School Bus Photos" album on my Webshots page. Check them out. I added the Potomac School and the Highland School bus.
http://community.webshots.com/user/icre1629
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IC-RE
Top Member

USA
4117 Posts

Posted - 07/10/2005 :  6:15:34 PM  Show Profile  Visit IC-RE's Homepage  Reply with Quote
IC, my school is right near there, so we pass it daily, here are the details, they contract with Williams Bus Lines for SCHOOL BUSes, and theu own their own activity buses. They have several GMC/Chevy mini Thomas buses, a large yellow Thomas Vista, and a few I can't remember if they were International or freightliner, but they were Thomas built.
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BusFreak
Top Member

USA
798 Posts

Posted - 07/10/2005 :  7:28:54 PM  Show Profile  Send BusFreak an AOL message  Reply with Quote
The Gum Springs school in Alexandria has some REALLY nice buses...mostly, if not all conventional. LOTS of Blue Bird Internationals, all with A/C and tons of extras. Not really sure how many buses they have either. They are off Rt 1 near the Krispy Kreme (my favorite spot EVER).

Also, St. Agnus &St. Stevens school have some nice buses. Their newest are Thomas Freightliners with AC and aluminum wheels. I know that one of the drivers parks her bus in Fairfax City, behind the Expo design center near the ugly KMart on Jermantown Road. They also have some Blue Bird GMC/Chevys with AC, and atleast one Blue Bird Ford. Their buses look nice though. I know that their school is also in Alexandria, and they share busses with Bishop Ireton High School.

Near me, Bishop O'connel high school has atleast one SWEET Blue Bird vision with AC, and aluminum wheels....I'm not sure what else they have, but I think they contract through McClean Transportation.

Hope this helps!

=
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Thomas Ford 85-16
Top Member

USA
4169 Posts

Posted - 07/11/2005 :  05:47:07 AM  Show Profile  Visit Thomas Ford 85-16's Homepage  Send Thomas Ford 85-16 an AOL message  Reply with Quote
School buses aren't required by law to be yellow. I believe we've come to the conclusion before that there's a federal recommendation for School Bus Yellow, and its up to each individual state to enforce it as they wish. If you've seen some of The School Bus Yard website before it went into disrepair (lots of 404 errors now), you'd occasionally catch a New Jersey bus that was purple or something. The only yellow on it was around "SCHOOL BUS" because federal law does require SCHOOL BUS on each bus, in 8" black letters, on a yellow background. I also remember reading that Minnesota used to use an Orange color up into the 1980s.

Mike's Bus Yard - http://buses.zwebpages.com - Since 1999

Edited by - Thomas Ford 85-16 on 07/11/2005 05:50:07 AM
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IC RE 1629
Top Member

United States
5097 Posts

Posted - 07/11/2005 :  06:58:31 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thank you BusFreak. I'll have to check out some of these places.
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disneynuts
Advanced Member

USA
220 Posts

Posted - 07/11/2005 :  1:46:32 PM  Show Profile  Visit disneynuts's Homepage  Reply with Quote
flint hill contracts the school routes to williams bus lines. they own their own activity buses, freightliner thomas and chevy thomas minotour. they also have one thomas vista, and a gmc/chevy blue bird that is painted white.

o'connell does have one new vision this years model. cat engine, a/c chrome wheels. they also contract with williams bus lines. mclean transportation does the transportation for bolling air force base in washington. they transport the air force kids to a lot of schools.

the bullis school in potomac, on falls road has a fleet of about 20

the german school in potomac has a fleet of about 15
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IC RE 1629
Top Member

United States
5097 Posts

Posted - 07/11/2005 :  3:18:00 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
What road is the bullis school and the german school on?

I bet you all are wondering as to why I am asking these questions. Well, I am looking to add more bus photos to my collection. Particulary of buses that are NOT Fairfax County. You guys are helping me to find locations where I can photograph buses that are not Fairfax County buses. Thank you!
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IC RE 1629
Top Member

United States
5097 Posts

Posted - 07/13/2005 :  10:02:28 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
This was brought up in the "Vandalism" thread. Why do some districts not get locks on their buses? Like Drew19 stated in the "Vandalism" thread, isn't that just asking for trouble?
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BBAllAmericanRE
Advanced Member

USA
357 Posts

Posted - 07/13/2005 :  10:10:45 AM  Show Profile  Visit BBAllAmericanRE's Homepage  Send BBAllAmericanRE an AOL message  Click to see BBAllAmericanRE's MSN Messenger address  Send BBAllAmericanRE a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by IC RE 1629

This was brought up in the "Vandalism" thread. Why do some districts not get locks on their buses? Like Drew19 stated in the "Vandalism" thread, isn't that just asking for trouble?



Well, our district is worried that a driver will forgot to check his/her bus, get off the bus lock the doors and a student will be trapped in. Yeah its pretty lame.

-Ty-

Edited by - BBAllAmericanRE on 07/13/2005 10:12:12 AM
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IC RE 1629
Top Member

United States
5097 Posts

Posted - 07/13/2005 :  11:04:13 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I guess that's a good idea. A kid left on a school bus is not good. I just find it weird that some buses would not have locks.
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CPCSC_TD
Top Member

USA
657 Posts

Posted - 07/13/2005 :  11:06:19 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
My fear is the bus doors or exits being locked in the event of an emergency.
I knwo they are wired so they cannot start the bus when they are locked but as we have all seen in modern school bus manufacturing, it can fail.

I don't believe school buses should have any locks.






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thomas86_a
Top Member

USA
4407 Posts

Posted - 07/13/2005 :  11:19:23 AM  Show Profile  Visit thomas86_a's Homepage  Send thomas86_a an AOL message  Reply with Quote
I agree with CPCSC_TD,

We spec many options on our buses however locks are not one of them.

If you have an International, you NEED customer service.
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Drew19
Top Member

USA
651 Posts

Posted - 07/13/2005 :  11:59:06 AM  Show Profile  Send Drew19 a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
I guess im so used to both of the counties I lived in the buses have locks on the entry doors. most of the time people can't get into the bus. There has been buses back then where the two way radios would get stolen. Does the newer radio's have anti theft deterent.
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