WARWICK, N.Y. — Trans Tech has partnered with Seoul-based J.S. Alliance to export one of its Type A school buses to South Korea, and has established plans to supply the country with 100 school buses per year.
The SST, which is currently being used to transport South Korean schoolchildren, is the first yellow school bus manufactured in the U.S. and approved by the South Korean government for use in the country, according to Trans Tech.
“Exporting an American-made yellow school bus to South Korea from New York state is truly an historic moment, not just for Trans Tech, but for the United States and South Korea,” said John Phraner, president of Trans Tech. “We are honored that J.S. Alliance CEO Sungwon Bae and his team chose Trans Tech to be the exclusive manufacturer and supplier of yellow school buses for South Korea.”
A deal three years in the making, Trans Tech was approached by J.S. Alliance about supplying Type A school buses to their country because of the need to bring more uniformity and proven safety features to South Korea’s school transportation system. South Korea currently provides school transportation through a system of independent contractors that operate vans that are not specifically designed for carrying students, and do not meet the safety standards of a school bus made in the U.S., according to the companies.
“There is a real need for the yellow school bus in South Korea, and we are proud to be importing Trans Tech’s SST Type A school bus to our country,” said Sungwon Bae, CEO of J.S. Alliance.
Bae also described the partnership as “historic,” and “one that will help make the ride to and from school for South Korean children even safer.”
The first school bus was shipped out of California and arrived in South Korea in January. Trans Tech worked with J.S. Alliance, International Fleet Sales, and General Motors (the manufacturer of the school bus’s chassis) to prepare the bus for export.
After arriving in South Korea, the bus underwent a series of government tests, was approved for operation in the country, and is now transporting students.
J.S. Alliance chose the bus for its safety and durability features, such as the 14-gauge galvanized steel, bolted safety cage, and pan-formed floors; its size, which works well for the South Korean streets; and its aerodynamic design.
Trans Tech customized the bus for the South Korean school transportation system by reducing the height of the bus’s stairs to accommodate South Korean children, and made additional modifications to conform to South Korean laws and regulations. Those include exterior lighting changes, converting the speedometer and the measurement gauges to the metric system, and converting the language for features such as the stop arm.