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School Transportation News Magazine | Buyer’s Guide 2017


DATA, STATISTICS AND TRENDS


pared to the previous two reporting periods. Te most apparent reason for this was a spike in Type-A manufacturing, with 9,402 units reported, or nearly 22 percent of all school buses. Tere appears to be growing market interest in the new Ford Transit option, though the chassis accounts for less than 10 percent of all Type- A cutaways. But this year, it will be offered by not only Micro Bird, Collins Bus and Starcraft but also Trans Tech to fill the void left by disallowed non-conforming vans for home-to-school route service. Type D transit-style school buses declined again, coming in at 4,143 units, down more than 4.5 percent from the previous reporting year. Tis, per industry consultants, signaled continued market forces shifting toward less expensive yet similarly equipped Type Cs. On the alternative-fuel front, acceptance is still low but


growing. About 8.5 percent of the total school bus builds are powered by alternative fuels, with propane still leading the pack in sheer numbers. But CNG and electric drives are both also showing positive growth. In 2017, don’t be surprised to see more options announced, especially as the industry sets itself to deal with federal phase two GHG emissions standards, which has already resulted in the re-emergence of gasoline-power conventional models from both Blue Bird and IC Bus. More and more, school bus operators are telling STN – and the OEMs – that they seek alternatives to increased costs tied to the latest diesel rules. Taking a deeper dive into the drive train, the market


remains dominated by Allison Transmission, but the Eaton Procision made its mark as a growing number of school buses were specified with the dual-clutch transmission, thanks to first IC Bus and then Blue Bird adopting the brand as an option in 2015. As for next year, the industry remains bullish on produc- tion. Te OEMs estimated for STN a total of more than 45,700 school bus builds, or another 5-percent gain on this past year’s figures. ●


2015-2016 Total Bus Production By Body Type/Segment


Type A: 9,402 Type C: 29,757 Type D: 4,143


MFSAB: 1,061 White Buses: 6,249


Total: 50,612 0 10000 20000 30000 40000 50000 60000


*Reported by OEMs as of 12/12/2016. Data reflects only factory production numbers and not actual sales.


0


10000 20000 30000 40000 50000 60000


Projected School Bus Orders for the 2015-2016 School Year


Type A: 6,783 Type C: 27,258 Type D: 4,908 0 5000 10000 15000 20000 25000 30000 MFSAB: 1,280 0 5000 10000 15000 20000 25000 30000 *Averages taken from OEM responses.


Who We Surveyed


Blue Bird Corporation Collins Bus Corporation Ford Motor Company General Motors IC Bus Lion Bus Micro Bird Starcraft Bus Thomas Built Buses Trans Tech


12


2017 Alternative-Fuel School Bus Options by OEM (Propane & CNG Mid-Year)


Blue Bird ▪Vision


▪Micro Bird (Propane)


▪All American Rear-Engine (CNG)


▪NexBus (CNG & Propane)


Collins


Thomas Built Buses


▪Saf-T-Liner C2 (CNG & Propane)


▪Saf-T-Liner HDX (Propane)


Lion Bus


▪eLion (Electric)


▪CE Series (Propane)


IC BUS


Trans Tech ▪SSTe (Electric)


CELEBRATING25YEARS


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