I recently asked the question, where did the term "cruiser" come from? Did you ever notice that word doesn't appear on the 14-passenger (15-passenger if you want to count the driver) buses anywhere? I still don't know the answer, although it was suspected it came from a Facility Services student worker who happened to be working the front office desk at the time the first one(s) came in.
The first one we bought, which was traded in on Wednesday, April 23 (PC 811, if you are familiar with the pool car number), actually said "Champion" on the side. That's the brand of after-market modifications to make it into a bus.
The new ones are modified by Turtle Top. I'm told they make a very nice bus and from my quick ride around in the first one delivered, I'd have to agree. Unfortunately, I have nothing to compare to since I never took the opportunity to ride in any of the others. I trust Bob Kelly, though, and he tells me it is much nicer.
These new buses (there are two) seem to be very nice. Since I don't know all the features of the old ones, I may be restating some things we've always enjoyed. For example, there is an alarm light and buzzer that sounds when the bus is started but the back door is open. It needs to be closed, at least mostly, to clear the light and buzzer.
There are red indicator lights at the 3 emergency exits (one next to the main door and one next to each emergency exit window).
The rear view mirror is a video screen that automatically enables and shows the view from behind when the bus is put into reverse, but it also shows the view from each side of the bus (blind spots) when a turn signal is activated. As cool is the fact that it can be powered on manually and each camera view checked at any time.
The walls of the bus are covered in a soft vinyl material that helps with sound absorption.
I'm sure the list goes on. I highly encourage those of you who already have some experience in the new buses to DISCUSS below and share what you think - good or bad.
Oh, I guess I could mention, based on the pictures and my own view of these new buses, there is a lot of good space on the sides of graphics. I don't know what they'll look like when they are done, but I'm anxious to see how well those large, white sides (and back, and front overcab) are put to use!