Northern Bus Sales | ME, NH, VT, MA, CT, RI, NY | School Activity Bus | MyBus: FAQs

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What is an "MFSAB" vehicle?

MFSAB is short for Multi-Function School Activity Bus. An MFSAB meets the same Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) as school buses, but is not required to have stop arms or traffic control lights and in most states is not required to be yellow. Studies have shown that school buses (including MFSABs) are the safest form of surface transportation. The National Safety Council estimates that the risk of death for a passenger traveling in a school bus is 172 times lower than for someone traveling in an automobile or other non-compliant vehicle.

Since a van has seat belts, isn't it safer than a MFSAB MyBus?

No, because seat belts are not the only factor to consider in what makes a vehicle safe. MyBus vehicles are required to meet the FMVSS safety standards required for school buses and therefore are held to a higher safety standard than vans. Additionally, MFSAB vehicles like MyBus are built with sturdy steel roll cages so they can withstand a rollover better than other vehicles. They also are required to have emergency exits and rugged body construction for side impact protection. In fact, school buses have better per road mile safety records than all other vehicles. And, MyBus can be equipped with a lap or three-point safety belt. However, even without seat belts, MyBus seating is designed to compartmentalize passengers in the event of an accident, and seat backs are engineered to absorb energy. All of these factors make MFSAB vehicles one of the safest forms of surface transportation.

Who makes the MyBus chassis?

MyBus is a MFSAB vehicle. It begins with a dependable GM school bus equipment chassis, on which we build our unique steel cage body. Our engineers understand your precious cargo, so they designed a rugged framework of one-piece, skirt-to-skirt roof bows and heavy-duty crash rails, built to withstand the rigors of everyday use. To that, we fasten 16-gauge aluminum side panels and continuous roof sections. Besides adding to the structural integrity of MyBus, single roofing sheets from side to side mean fewer rivets. And fewer rivets mean fewer potential leak paths.

Where can I get a MyBus serviced?

When you purchase a MyBus from Northern Bus Sales, you're getting more than a solid and safe bus. Your purchase makes us a part of your team. And, as a team, we will work together to take good care of your passengers and your vehicle. We know our success is dependent on yours, and we've built a service and support system designed with your needs in mind. Your MyBus can be serviced at any GM Service Center for under-the-hood maintenance or repairs. And, with the largest dealer network in the nation and the most advanced parts and service network available, you can count on Thomas to help keep your business running smoothly.

I'm not a bus driver. Is MyBus easy to drive?

Yes. MyBus is compact, highly maneuverable and has gauges and driver controls similar to passenger vans. In fact, the MyBus SRW has the same width as passenger vans. Things like easy-to-read, overhead driver control panels, a comfortable and adjustable driver's seat, improved visibility with a glass panel entrance door and a 360-square-inch Saf-T-Vue window near the entrance door make driving a pleasure.

Are childcare centers required to use school buses to transport children?

Yes. Recently, interpretations of school bus laws have been extended to any group that regularly transports children to and from school or school-related activities. It is a violation of federal law for a new car dealer to sell a van to anyone who will transport children to and from school or school-related activities. Some states specifically require childcare centers and private schools to use school buses. Contact your state officials or your insurance carrier for more information and to determine if this law applies to your business.

Why is it considered unsafe to transport large groups of people in vans?

The National Highway Traffic Commission has issued warnings about the dangers of transporting large numbers of passengers in vans, as they are more prone to rollover. Vans are not engineered to carry the weight limit an MFSAB vehicle can carry and are often overloaded when at full capacity with passengers and luggage. MFSAB vehicles like MyBus are built with safety features such as sturdy steel roll cages to withstand a rollover, compartmentalized passenger seating in case of an accident and rugged body construction for side impact protection.

Do I need a special driver's license to drive MyBus?

Yes and no. A commercial driver's license (CDL) is required for drivers of vehicles designed to transport more than 14 passengers. We offer the MyBus in three basic sizes: the MyBus SRW (single rear wheel) bus seats 14 passengers plus the driver, so no CDL is required for most states. Our MyBus DRW 041 (dual rear wheel) bus seats up to 20 passengers, and our MyBus DRW 051 (also a dual rear wheel) bus seats up to 30 passengers. The DRW requires that the driver have a CDL. For more info on CDLs, please visit the national DMV website.

I really want to get a MyBus, but I don't know if we can afford it.

For more than 10 years, Daimler Financial has been helping customers obtain the Thomas Built Buses they need to be productive and safe. We offer numerous commercial finance options to fit your needs. Our experienced, hands-on credit team can help you squeeze the most out of a tight budget. To learn more about our financing options go to our financing page.