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Charlotte Latin School

Charlotte Latin School Relies on Thomas Built Buses

(Following is an interview with Fletcher Gregory and Jimmy Broadway of Charlotte Latin School, a large, private K-12 school located in Charlotte, N.C. The interview is excerpted from an article appearing in American School and University magazine.)

Q. First, how many buses do you have?
A. We have 15: seven Saf-T-Liner®s (Type D), four Minotours (Type A), four Conventionals (Type C). All are Thomas Built Buses.

Q. What originally sold you on Thomas buses?
A. In 1978, when I worked for another school, I met Bill Price, a Thomas representative (now retired). We rode in some buses, had a relaxed barbecue lunch. But Bill didn't try to sell us a bus. He spent all the time asking about our needs, helping us figure out what our best options were. That's what ultimately sold us. I'll never forget that first meeting and our first bus.

Q. Years later, when you came to Charlotte Latin, why did you stick with Thomas?
A. Well, ever since Thomas delivered that first bus, they've been delivering quality buses and outstanding service. You see, school buses for a private school are a long-term investment. We buy to spend less in the future.

Q. How has your bus fleet evolved over the years?
A. Well, we started out with conventional buses. Then we made the switch to the transit-style pushers. And that's been a great transition. We don't even price conventionals anymore.

Q. How have the transit-style buses helped your school?
A. We employ all of our drivers, and a lot of them are teachers and coaches. The transits are easier to drive and maneuver. They've very comfortable for the driver and the students. So I don't have any problem scheduling drivers. And the buses look good.

Q. Are looks that important?
A. Looks and comfort. These buses are really rolling billboards for Charlotte Latin. They provide a nice image for our school. The coaches are proud to drive these buses to other schools. And no doubt, when you pull up in a comfortable vehicle, you're more ready to play.

Q. Aren't the transits more expensive?
A. Transits may cost more up front. But they're projected to last longer. We plan to keep these buses for many years. So we want a quality bus that's enjoyable to drive and comfortable for the children. We really want what's best for the students. That's a major factor.

Q. So why do you stick with the Thomas brand?
A. Thomas provides a quality product at a competitive price. And their track record has proven to be the best for us.

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