It was a lot of work for all involved to get 100 brand new Blue Bird Vision school buses to school bus contractor Atlantic Express Corporation in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy late last year.
Blue Bird dealers nationwide agreed to defer previously made orders in the fall to enable the manufacturer to deliver the initial order to replace buses severely damaged or completely destroyed to meet Atlantic Express' immediate needs in December. And Blue Bird's manufacturing employees and suppliers worked around the clock to make sure the buses left the plant on time.
"Hundreds of employees throughout Blue Bird worked closely with the production team and our suppliers to reduce lead-time by 60 percent and (to) ensure that each bus was able to travel down the production line on an accelerated schedule that ensured December delivery," saidPhil Horlock, president and CEO of Blue Bird. "The ability to deliver these 100 buses in record time is a testament to the commitment and perseverance of Blue Bird employees, Blue Bird dealers and our outstanding suppliers coming together with a common mission to help the people of New York City."
For their part, Atlantic Express was grateful, said Domenic Gatto, the company's CEO and president.
"Our business transports New York City's most precious cargo, the school children of New York City," Gatto added. "Having a brand new, reliable and safe fleet on the road allows us to do our important job and fulfill our commitment to the children and the entire City of New York."
The buses were delivered by Blue Bird dealer Bird Bus Sales.
"As a member of Blue Bird's valuable dealer network, Bird Bus Sales can appreciate the generosity extended by Blue Bird's dealers and employees working to ensure that Atlantic Express' buses were able to be placed into immediate production and be delivered in record time," said Rick Reichenbach, president of Bird Bus Sales.
Hurricane Sandy affected 24 states, including the entire eastern seaboard from Florida to Maine and west across the Appalachian Mountains to Michigan and Wisconsin. New York and New Jersey suffered particularly severe damage when the storm surge hit New York City on Oct. 29, flooding streets, tunnels and subway lines and cutting power in and around the city. Damage in the U.S. is estimated at more than $71 billion.