The future of school bus transportation is being built in North Carolina


HIGH POINT, N.C. — The future of school bus transportation is being built in North Carolina. 

 

What You Need To Know

Thomas Built Buses is on a mission to manufacture more environmentally friendly school buses, including its electric model 

The company said electric buses have a higher initial cost but are expected to save money on upkeep in the long run 

The Triad plant will add 280 more jobs to staff a new second shift

 

Thomas Built Buses is on a mission to manufacture more environmentally friendly school buses. Its Triad plant produces a variety of buses to meet different needs, including an electric model called the Jouley. Team leader Leopold Rutayisire has worked at the plant for 23 years and said the electric school bus is an important step forward for the industry. 

“When you look at it from outside it’s not any different. But the design and the way they work is very different,” Rutayisire said. 

According to Thomas Built Buses, the Jouley can go 138 miles on a full charge, and the low hum of the electric vehicle will allow drivers to hear more of what’s going on in the seats behind them. The company said the electric school buses cost more up front than traditional models but are expected to save money on upkeep in the long run. 

Rutayisire said he’s proud to play a part in the innovation of the industry, and he’s excited to see what comes next. 

“I think that’s where we’re going with everybody. Not only that, but gas is expensive right now, but for [the] environment, for long term cost, this is just the future,” Rutayisire said. 

A representative for the company said the demand for buses is so high across the country that the plant will add 280 more jobs to staff a new second shift. 



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