Thomas Low Floor Buses to Provide Norwalk Transit and Shuttle Services

The Norwalk Transit District, a transit operator for Norwalk, Conn., has ordered 12 Thomas SLF 200 30-foot buses to provide transit and shuttle services exclusively to the Norwalk and Westport areas. The SLF buses feature a unique low floor and passenger-friendly design that makes them easier to board and more accessible.

Scheduled for delivery in August 2001, these are the first Thomas units the organization has ordered.

"We developed a list of standards and specifications we were looking for in a low floor vehicle and the SLF met all our needs," said Louis Schulman, administrator for the Norwalk Transit District. "We believe that the SLF is a good bus and is highly qualified to handle our service schedule."

"The SLF 200's features are specially designed to meet transit needs, such as the residential applications of the Norwalk Transit District," said Curt Kiser, director of commercial sales for Thomas Built Buses. "With the SLF's low floor design passengers can easily board and exit quickly, which allows operators to stay on their route schedule without delays."

The SLF bus order was placed through Matthews Buses, Inc., the Thomas dealer in Saratoga, N.Y.

The vehicle features 42-inch-wide front and rear doors making it easily accessible for passengers, and the air-operated doors open inward for additional clearance. In addition, the full air-ride suspension kneels as low as nine inches, and the bus has a 36-inch-wide ramp for paratransit applications.

Recent results from the Federal Transit Administration New Model Bus Testing Program, also known as the Altoona Test, confirm the SLF's durability and performance standards. The bus was evaluated in a series of tests that range from maintenance and reliability to safety and structural integrity, that assess the overall quality of the bus. The SLF 230 completed the 12-year, 500,000-mile test with high marks in all areas and rated higher than its competitors in many categories.

The buses are produced at Thomas' 250,000 square-foot manufacturing plant near Jamestown, N.C.

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