New school bus design improves fuel efficiency, safety for local students

Seven new buses have joined Tecumseh Public Schools’ busing garage operated by First Student Inc. Two more will be certified next week, bringing the total number of buses to nine. The boxy design often associated with older buses is gone as the windows on the new buses are all-around larger, increasing visibility, with the front of the bus a bit more shapely. The windshield is 30 percent larger than a conventional bus windshield. On the outside, the safety indicators are now larger, providing increased safety when the bus is stopped. Inside the Thomas Built Saf-T-Liner C2 buses, the seat backs are higher, which, according to First Student Location Manager Jason Szteiter, increases student safety. Also inside, at the front of the bus, is a motion sensor to deter theft and vandalism, as it operates by detecting movement and sounding an alarm if the bus isn’t turned on within a certain time period. At the back of a bus is a button the driver must press whenever the bus is parked back at the garage. This system ensures a driver walks the entirty of the bus checking for students who may have missed their stop or fallen asleep. Szteiter also said there has been a noticable improvement in fuel efficiency since getting the new buses, adding that those savings were expected with newer buses because of advancements in engine technology. Drivers and kids alike enjoy the new buses, Szteiter said. Drivers enjoy it because the buses drive and ride more comfortably because they are new. Kids also enjoy the comfortable ride the new buses provide.“I’m glad we have them,” Szteiter said. “They make for a better experience for everybody. The students really like them. They make comments to the drivers how they love the new buses.” He added that kids get disappointed when a new bus is in for preventative maintenance and an older bus is sent in its place. The new buses came about as several were due for replacement. The district has 21 buses for routes, five spares and an additional coach bus designed for field trips and sports teams. That bus is bigger, more comfortable and air conditioned, Szteiter said. Currently, the district has 27 buses in its fleet. Recently, the Michigan State Police completed a safety inspection of school buses in the state and Tecumseh’s fleet was passed in full compliance.

Tecumseh Herald


110 E. Logan St.
P.O. Box 218
Tecumseh, MI 49286

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