Did You Know There Are Many Types Of School Buses? Here’s How They Differ

type a school buses You might see a number of different school buses pass you by in the morning. These types of buses all have a purpose and type that sets them apart from each other.

To the average driver, these differences aren’t especially important. You still need to stop and wait when there’s a school bus stopped in front of you, and you still need to roll down your windows when idling next to a school bus in the afternoon. But if you’re looking at new and used buses for sale, here’s how to understand some of the different types of schools buses.

Type A School Buses

The Type A school bus is a type of converted van or cutaway front section vehicle. As such, it usually has a left-side driver’s door and a passenger entrance on the right side. Type A school buses are usually thought of as the “short bus,” a negative connotation that refers to students with disabilities. However, this term is used less and less frequently thanks to awareness regarding people with disabilities. Over the course of the last year, around 47% of bus fleets reported that their ridership consists of more and more people with special needs. These buses are commonly used for shorter routes consisting of fewer students and those with disabilities alike.

This type of bus can carry more than 10 passengers but not as many as longer buses. Type A school buses can be broken down into two categories; the Type A-1 has a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of under 14,500 pounds. The Type A-2 is greater than 14,500 pounds but less than 21,500 pounds. Both of these types of buses meet the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards necessary for school buses.

Type B School Buses

Like Type A school buses, Type B buses are also known as conversion buses. Type Bs are installed upon a front-section vehicle chassis but they might also utilize a stripped chassis. These buses are typified by the location of the engine, which rests beneath or behind the windshield and next to the seat of the driver.

This bus weighs more than 10,000 pounds and typically carries more than 10 people at a time. The entrance for both the driver and passengers is on the right side of the vehicle, behind the front wheels.

Type C School Buses

A Type C school bus has an identifiable look; the chassis has a hood and complete front fender, giving the vehicle more of a nose than a Type D school bus. These buses may or may not have a left side door, but the right passenger entry will usually be located behind the front wheels. It typically has a GVWR of 21,500 pounds or more.

Type D School Buses

Type D buses have two versions: the type D front engine bus and the Type D rear engine bus. Both bodies, however, are installed upon a chassis. These buses look more like your average metro bus, with a flatter face and longer body that is able to carry more than 10 people at a time.

The GVWR is more than 10,000 pounds with a maximum length of 45 feet. The door is located ahead of the front wheels.

When looking for school buses for sale, it’s important to choose a vehicle that’s appropriate for your organization’s needs. And when you want a vehicle that meets your needs, call Schetky Northwest Sales Inc. or visit us online at Schetkynw.com for more information.

About David Schetky

Schetky offers the most innovative and highly awarded vehicles in the commercial and school bus industries.