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RROW T


OF


he narrator asks, “How much do you pay for a bus after you pay for a bus?” Te video— produced by Tomas Built Buses—goes on to state that it’s not just about the purchase price,


that procuring a new bus means considering fuel and maintenance costs, as well as replacement parts, and all this on top of “overall durability.” Tis all equates to the Total Cost of Ownership, often


referred to asTCO, and for school districts nationwide, it determines whether a transportation department purchases new vehicles or extends the shelf life of their existing fleet. Yet, Total Cost of Ownership goes beyond the pur- chasing price. It is the sum of events that a school bus endures over the course of its functional existence to and


from school. It is the theoretical litmus test that manu- facturers and transportation department directors utilize, since a school bus, the notion holds, should serve the needs of a couple generations of children with little fail. A school bus is a long-term investment. Make no doubt about that. For example, in North Carolina, where Tomas Built Buses is headquartered, school districts use the metric of 20 years or 250,000 miles to gauge the basic necessity of vehicle replacement. As Nicholas Smith, a spokesman for Tomas Built


Buses parent Daimler Trucks North America, puts it: “Certainly climate, terrain and routes, among other things, play a significant role in the life of a bus. Tomas Built Buses builds buses that can last upwards of 15-20 years, again dependent on the previous comment.”


æ www.stnonline.com 39


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