RENO, Nev. - Attendees at this year’s STN Expo will have their first opportunity to experience Blue Bird’s new Vision CNG bus, along with Blue Bird’s newest offering, the Vision Gen 4 Propane bus.
"At Blue Bird, we have an unwavering commitment to be the best in passenger safety and total cost of ownership, as well as robust service and support," says Phil Horlock, president and CEO, Blue Bird Corporation, who notes that Blue Bird also is the leading OEM of alternative-fuel powered school buses. "We and our partners continue to innovate and develop affordable, industry-leading products that our school bus customers want and value. The Blue Bird Vision Gen 4 Propane and Vision CNG buses are excellent examples of our spirit of innovation."
Blue Bird's newest offering to school bus fleets is the Vision Gen 4 Propane bus. It features Blue Bird’s industry-exclusive Ford/ROUSH CleanTech powertrain — a modern, proven engine and transmission with a 5-year, unlimited-mile warranty. The new Type C Vision Gen 4 Propane bus exceeds stringent emission standards, with virtually zero emissions, and has better fuel economy than other propane-fueled school buses due to the bus’ EconoShift optimization. The propane-powered Blue Bird Vision also ranked number one in safety according to independent research, and has the lowest total cost of ownership.
Sam Bailey, transportation director for Biloxi Public Schools, agrees. After evaluating their data, "Blue Bird has the lowest cost of ownership, [lowest] out-of-commission time, and the longest in-service life expectancy by 41 percent over the other brands," he says.
The Vision Gen 4 Propane continues to advance the propane technology found in Blue Bird’s previous Vision Propane buses and incorporates several enhancements:
- Easier serviceability thanks to repositioned sending units and pre-injector filters, along with O-ring sealed fuel lines and a new optional Euro-style fill connector.
- Increased reliability, with infinitely variable speed dual fuel pumps and thinner fuel rails that reduce start time up to 50 percent.
Expo attendees will have an opportunity to ride the Vision Gen 4 Propane bus at the Ride and Drive event July 26 and July 27.
The Blue Bird Vision CNG combines Blue Bird’s 25 years of compressed natural gas (CNG) Type D school buses with the superior driver visibility of its Vision bus, ranked first in safety, quality, reliability, durability and operating costs by transportation directors, service managers and contractors. The Type C Blue Bird Vision CNG bus reduces fuel and maintenance costs while meeting stringent emissions standards.
With its proven powertrain delivered by Ford and ROUSH CleanTech, Blue Bird Vision CNG is supported by a dedicated team of field service engineers focused exclusively on school bus operations. Expo Ride and Drive attendees can try the Blue Bird Vision CNG for the first time on July 27.
Additional Ride and Drive Offerings
Also at the Ride and Drive event, attendees can experience Blue Bird’s new Vision Gasoline bus, which is now rolling off the production line. Designed to be highly cost-effective at both the acquisition point and in service, the Vision Gasoline bus also features the proven Ford/ROUSH CleanTech 6.8L V10 powertrain. As the newest alternative-fuel addition to our product line, the Blue Bird Vision Gasoline bus has the lowest price point of all Blue Bird’s engine offerings, is simple to maintain and operate, and does not require the complex emissions after-treatment systems deployed with traditional fueled-engines.
Participants also can assess these additional Blue Bird and Micro Bird offerings:
- Cummins ISV5.0 Diesel-Powered Engine — This fuel-efficient 5.0L V8 engine is exclusive to Blue Bird and paired with Allison Transmission’s FuelSense technology. The engine’s performance sets a new noise standard for being the quietest diesel engine on the road, and its compact size makes service simple. It also offers the lowest acquisition price of all Blue Bird diesel models.
- Eaton Procision Transmission — Powered by a Cummins ISB engine, this is the first dual-clutch, seven-speed automatic transmission introduced for Class 6-7 vehicles. The transmission ensures driver confidence by efficiently accelerating and optimizing shift points to reach the highest gear as early as possible.
- Micro Bird T-Series MPV — The multipurpose passenger vehicle features an extra-wide body design, maximum visibility of loading zone, better fuel economy, contemporary ergonomics and design, galvanized steel structure and side impact barriers, superior insulation and standard LED lights.
- Micro Bird G5 with Lift —The Type A bus boasts an extra-wide body design, superior insulation, double-action energy-absorbing body mounting blocks, galvanized steel structure and side impact barriers, standard LED lights and maximum visibility of loading zone. ADA-compliant lifts and wheelchair securement systems are also featured.
At the Blue Bird Booth
In addition to the new buses and powertrains at the Ride and Drive events, Blue Bird will highlight the following technologies in Booth B, Silver Pavilion:
- Allison Transmission — An Allison fully automatic transmission delivers proven and reliable performance under the toughest road conditions and comes standard on all Blue Bird diesel buses. The patented torque converter smoothly delivers more power to the wheels, giving drivers greater control and wear-free launch. Allison’s innovative FuelSense packages maximize fuel economy based on the vehicle’s weight and surface operating grade.
- Ford 6.8L V10 Engine — This modular engine with proven durability and reliability powers all Blue Bird Vision buses. It comes with a 5-year, unlimited-mile warranty and allows bus fleet managers to train staff on just one engine platform across propane, gasoline and CNG.
- Hendrickson Comfort Air Rear Suspension System — With SUV-like stability and handling, the system provides a superb ride, along with ease of maintenance.
- Blue Bird Electronic Stability Control (ESC) System — Recognizing and assisting drivers in a wide range of adverse road conditions and driving situations, this full-stability system automatically activates the braking system selectively to each wheel, slowing the vehicle and avoiding skidding when a rollover or loss-of-control is detected by the system. Blue Bird is the first school bus OEM in North America to offer this system from Bendix on its Type C bus models.
About Blue Bird Corporation: Blue Bird (Nasdaq: BLBD) is the leading independent designer and manufacturer of school buses, with more than 550,000 buses sold since its formation in 1927 and approximately 180,000 buses in operation today. Blue Bird’s longevity and reputation in the school bus industry have made it an iconic American brand. Blue Bird distinguishes itself from its principal competitors by its singular focus on the design, engineering, manufacture and sale of school buses and related parts. As the only manufacturer of chassis and body production specifically designed for school bus applications, Blue Bird is recognized as an industry leader for school bus innovation, safety, product quality/reliability/durability, operating costs and drivability. In addition, Blue Bird is the market leader in alternative fuel applications with its propane-powered and compressed natural gas-powered school buses. Blue Bird manufactures school buses at two facilities in Fort Valley, Georgia. Its Micro Bird joint venture operates a manufacturing facility in Drummondville, Quebec, Canada. Service and after-market parts are distributed from Blue Bird’s parts distribution center located in Delaware, Ohio. For more information on Blue Bird’s complete line of buses, visit www.blue-bird.com.