Los Angeles UNIFIED School District Orders 130 Compressed Natural Gas Thomas Built Buses

Alternative fuel vehicles will feature seating with three-point restraints for enhanced safety

High Point, N.C. – The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) has purchased 130 Saf-T-Liner® HDX compressed natural gas (CNG) school buses from market-leader Thomas Built Buses. Introduced more than 10 years ago, Thomas Built CNG buses exceed California emission standards, among the toughest in the country.

The state of California was the first in the nation to require lap-shoulder belt seating. To meet that requirement, all 130 of the environmentally-friendly buses will be equipped with SafeGuard® seats, a product of IMMI.

“We applaud the LAUSD’s commitment to sound environmental strategies with its selection of school buses that incorporate clean-fuel technology,” said Ken Hedgecock, vice president, sales, marketing and service, Thomas Built Buses, “and we welcome this opportunity to demonstrate our shared commitment to environmental stewardship and enhanced passenger safety.”

The buses were purchased through Carson, CA-based BUSWEST, a Thomas dealer. BUSWEST president Jim Bernacchi noted, “helping LAUSD replace their older school buses with clean burning CNG powered school buses is good for the students, the environment and the economy. Buswest is honored to have the opportunity to supply Thomas Built CNG buses to support LAUSD’s ongoing fleet replacement program.”

The LAUSD transportation services division only accepts bids for buses operating on alternative fuels. The district currently operates the largest CNG school bus fleet in the state, with more than 300 alternative fuel school buses. Thomas Built CNG’s emissions are near zero and have been 2010 compliant since 2007.

About Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD)

Los Angeles Unified School District is comprised of 8 local districts, consisting of approximately 1,044 K–12 schools in Los Angeles County. With over 678,000 K–12 students, LAUSD is the largest unified district in the state of California. More than 141 schools use one of two different year–round calendars – either three–track or four–track – to accommodate heavy enrollment at those sites. LAUSD also includes approximately 208 other schools including adult schools, pre–schools, early education and regional occupational centers; the added attendance bringing total student population to over one million pupils. More information can be found at www.lausd.net.


BUSWEST is a division of Velocity Vehicle Group, with sales and service locations throughout California and Hawaii.

Thomas Built Buses (www.thomasbus.com) is the leading manufacturer of school buses in North America, with more than one-third of the market. Since the first Thomas Built bus rolled off the assembly line in 1936, the company has been committed to delivering the smartest and most innovative buses in North America.

Thomas Built Buses, Inc. is a subsidiary of Daimler Trucks North America LLC, the largest heavy-duty truck manufacturer in North America and a leading manufacturer of class 4-8 vehicles. Daimler Trucks North America produces and markets commercial vehicles under the Freightliner, Western Star and Thomas Built Buses nameplates. Daimler Trucks North America is a Daimler company.

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