Mirroring the average eight- to 10-year national fleet replacement cycle, school bus manufacturers reported the highest total output in a decade with 41,200 units that rolled off assembly lines over the past year, manufacturers shared with School Transportation News.
Compared to the slightly more than 39,000 school buses manufactured during the 2013-2014 production period, the industry maintained year-over-year growth nearing 5 percent.
When factoring in Multi-Function School Activity Buses and “white” buses, the total output of more than 49,100 vehicles. Still, the 41,200 school bus vehicles were the most since 47,915 were reported for the 2005-2006 school year.
Type D transit-style buses saw an 18.6 percent uptick to 4,344 units after falling to 3,662 the previous year, its smallest figure over the last two decades. Type C conventional buses once again led the way overall with 28,640 units built, a 7.3 percent increase.
Type A small buses fell slightly at 1.25 percent with 8,230 total buses manufactured, but still maintained the second-highest figure over the past five years.
School Transportation News conducted its annual tally of the seven school bus body builders, plus Type A chassis manufacturers Ford and GM, to gauge production from Nov. 1, 2014, through Oct. 31 of this year.
Additional data will be published next month in the 2016 STN Buyer’s Guide.
Editor's Note: Due to a computing error, a previous version of this article shortchanged the actual count by about several hundred school buses. STN regrets any confusion.