Collins Bus Corp. recently completed the first NEXBUS, its newly designed Type A school bus.

The inaugural unit was delivered to Gorman Enterprises, the Collins dealer for upstate New York.

Collins’ manufacturing facility in South Hutchinson, Kan., has been completely changed over to produce the new buses, which are marketed under the brands of Collins, Mid Bus and Corbeil.

Company officials said that the new design represents a culmination of several years of research and development.

Collins employees and National School Transportation Association (NSTA) board members — who were in town for a tour of the Collins facility — gathered to commemorate the completion of the first NEXBUS.

“Our employees have done an incredible job in getting the plant converted for the new design, and were justifiably proud to see the first unit driven out of the lot," said Kent Tyler, president of Collins Bus Corp. "We were fortunate to have the NSTA board on hand to witness the event.”

The NEXBUS line of products is immediately available in all chassis configurations, including propane-powered and hybrid-electric versions. Company officials said that a compressed natural gas version will be available later this summer.

The new design underwent durability testing that simulated seven years/200,000 miles of use at the Altoona Bus Research and Testing Center in Altoona, Pa.

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