There’s a new Florida Department of Education contract for schools buses (ITB 2016-01), and it offers customers an assortment of new powertrain options and innovative new safety features from Blue Bird and Florida Transportation Systems (FTS). Once again, Florida Transportation Systems is the only awarded vendor in all three categories of buses – Type A, Type C and Type D – providing equipment for the smallest of passenger capacities to the largest. What’s more, Blue Bird and FTS have successfully combined to provide the most economical options to Florida districts in nearly every single size and configuration. That saves precious budget dollars for your classroom and your district.
Speaking of cost savings, Blue Bird and ROUSH CleanTech are continuing their successful partnership with some additional alternative fuel offerings. Besides the well-accepted and popular propane autogas powertrain, the Ford 6.8L engine is now available in a Type C CNG configuration. So, for districts that are still considering alternative fuel deployments, or for those that have existing infrastructure, rest assured that the Ford/ROUSH/Blue Bird combination has been established as a trustworthy and reliable partnership.
Also, Blue Bird and ROUSH are making the Ford 6.8L gasoline engine available as credit option for customers that want a simple chassis free of the worry and maintenance of diesel emissions controls and components. Both the Type C CNG engine and the Type C gasoline engine are exclusives to Blue Bird and FTS on this new contract. If you’re still on the fence about propane, consider this: with the Florida natural gas fuel rebates, it is now less expensive to buy a propane bus than our competitor’s diesel in the 77-passenger capacity bus. That’s right – our propane buses are less expensive to buy, less expensive to operate and cleaner for the environment. It truly is a win-win-win.
For clean diesel users, Blue Bird continues to provide the Cummins ISB diesel engine for all its Type C and Type D platforms and offers the ISL diesel engine as an option for its rear engine school buses. New this year for the Type C Vision is the Cummins ISV V8 diesel engine. This clean, quiet-operating 5.0L engine offers districts a more economical diesel engine as a credit option in lieu of the standard Cummins ISB. Backed with confidence and support from Cummins, this engine provides yet another route to save money and put dollars back in the classroom. The Cummins ISV V8 engine is exclusive to Blue Bird and FTS is proud to offer it.
Last, but certainly not least, are some very exciting safety enhancements. Blue Bird and Bendix have partnered to offer the Bendix ESP full-stability control system for their Type C Vision school bus. While not currently required on school buses, this feature will be required on all vehicles more than the 33,000-pound GVW (gross vehicle weight) within the next three years and all vehicles more than the 26,000-pound GVW in the next four years. This groundbreaking new system promotes vehicle and passenger safety by mitigating certain events that may be experienced in road conditions. By monitoring braking, wheel rotation, steering, vehicle rotation and other system sensors, Bendix ESP delivers an addition to the stability performance on both dry and wet surfaces. Considering the precious cargo buses are carrying, this Blue Bird exclusive feature provides incredible peace of mind.
All of these new powertrains, safety features and more are now available on new Blue Bird buses. FTS is proud to offer additional services and options that provide for better serviceability and maintenance of these buses as well with extended A/C and engine warranties, service contracts, two-way radio installs, LED options for exterior and warning light systems and various stainless steel upgrades to name a few. All these features are designed to help keep the operator’s focus on transporting the students while the buses perform their daily tasks that they are built to do, day in and day out. FTS is excited to bring these new, innovative technologies and improvements to our customers in Florida and we look forward to exceeding all of your expectations. Call or visit us online at FTS4Buses.com and Blue-Bird.com.