High Point, N.C. – Twenty-two Thomas Built Saf-T-Liner® EF buses have been delivered for use at the 2006 Arctic Winter Games, set for March 5-11 in Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula. The transit-style buses were sold by Anchorage Thomas dealer Quality Equipment. After the games, the buses will be donated to the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District for use as student activity buses.

“The federal government awarded $1.7 million to be used for transportation during the Arctic Winter Games,” said Ray Belanger, owner of Quality Equipment. “Since the area does not have a mass transit service, the school district will provide transportation during the games and can keep the buses when the games are completed.”

Because funding came from a federal grant, the buses had to pass rigorous commercial bus longevity standards at the Altoona, Pa., test facility. The Altoona tests rate the longevity and cost of operation over the lifetime of the vehicle.

“Thomas had the highest quality at the best price, which allowed Quality Equipment to win the competitive bid,” said Glen Szymoniak, assistant superintendent of operations at the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District, encompassing the towns of Homer, Seward, Kenai and Soldotna.

The buses are front-engine, Saf-T-Liner-EF transit buses equipped with wheelchair lifts. They can accommodate up to 24 passengers.

Founded in 1970, the Arctic Winter Games feature athletes from Alaska, the Northwest Territories, the Yukon, northern Canada, Greenland, northern Russia, Norway and Finland. The games are the largest sporting event held on the Kenai Peninsula, with more than 1,900 athletes and coaches and 5,000 spectators expected to attend.

Thomas Built Buses is the leading manufacturer of school buses in North America, with more than one third of the market. Thomas Built Buses is a member of the Freightliner Group, the largest heavy-duty truck manufacturer in North America and a leading manufacturer of class 3-8 vehicles. Freightliner LLC produces and markets commercial vehicles under the Freightliner, Sterling, Western Star and Thomas Built Buses nameplates. Freightliner is a unit of DaimlerChrysler, the world’s leading commercial vehicle manufacturer. Media contact for Freightliner LLC: Jennifer Edwards, 503-745-8967,

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