On Tuesday, June 5, Sonny Merryman made a special delivery to Montgomery County Public Schools—the 100,000th Saf-T-Liner C2 school bus from Thomas Built Buses. “We are thrilled to receive delivery of this milestone Thomas school bus. This is a real honor for Montgomery County and especially our transportation team.” says Superintendent Mark Miear.
A special celebration event was hosted at Virginia Tech’s Lane Stadium in the President’s Suite to commemorate the milestone delivery. Attendees of the event included school administrators, board members, school bus drivers, and representatives from Thomas Built Buses and Sonny Merryman.
During the event and presentations, a common thread ran through each speakers’ message—the pupil transportation industry is comprised of many exceptional people who make the community one that is both unique and special. From the school bus drivers who are the first and last school officials to see each child every day, as remarked by Floyd Merryman during the event, to the craftsmen such as Dale Lewis and Kendra Ford of Thomas Built Buses in attendance at the event, whose hands built the bus from the ground up. Caley Edgerly, president and CEO of Thomas Built Buses, spoke of the pride each person in the room should feel as they see a big yellow bus driving down the street. “That’s our bus—we built that,” he commented as he recalled seeing a Thomas Built Buses Saf-T-Liner C2 carrying children to and from school.
Launched in 2004, the Thomas Built Saf-T-Liner C2 revolutionized the school bus industry, setting a new standard for safety, design and engineering innovation. Based on extensive driver and customer input, the C2 was designed by Thomas Built Buses and Freightliner Custom Chassis from the ground up and built in High Point in a production facility created specifically to produce this dramatically different bus.
Since 2004, the C2 has evolved to become one of the safest, smartest, most efficient and easiest to maintain school buses in the industry. BusWise® Technologies on the C2 now offer a full suite of robust safety, efficiency and serviceability features such as electronic stability control, collision avoidance and lane departure monitoring, Wi Fi and onboard and 360-degree cameras. Plus, advanced telematics systems provide drivers and school transportation administrators with instant on-demand information including pre-delivery inspection tools, GPS tracking, and vehicle diagnostics.
The milestone bus will join Montgomery County Public School’s fleet of 130 buses that travel upwards of two million safe miles annually. The county’s fleet covers 389 square miles and travels everything from busy six lane interstates to challenging mountainous gravel roads. “Safely transporting our students is a daily priority for our school district and community,” stated MCPS Superintendent Dr. Mark Miear.
“Handing the keys over for Thomas Built’s 100,000th C2 is just as much of a milestone for Sonny Merryman as it is for Thomas Built Buses,” said Floyd Merryman, president and CEO of Sonny Merryman. “Since we launched our business over 50 years ago, our goal has always been to provide our customers with the very best product and service in the industry. With Thomas Built Buses, it’s easy to provide the best product day in and day out. The production of Thomas Built’s 100,000th C2 speaks to the quality, durability and popularity of Thomas Built’s products. We are proud to be a Thomas Built dealer and to be a part of this momentous day with our friends at Montgomery Public Schools.”