GAFFNEY, SC - Gallaudet University will expand its student transportation fleet with new commercial buses built on the S2C chassis from Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation (FCCC).

Marking FCCC's first foray into the commercial bus cab cutaway market, the front-engine diesel-powered FCCC S2C is built on a proven shuttle bus chassis rather than a traditional truck chassis. The S2C chassis boasts the same reliability and durability that customers expect from an FCCC chassis. Gallaudet, based in Washington, D.C., ordered two 32-passenger commercial buses through Colonial Equipment Company in Monrovia, Md.

The new buses will join Gallaudet's existing eight-bus fleet and carry students between the campus and nearby public transportation routes. Gallaudet is a leader in liberal arts education and career development programs for deaf and hard-of-hearing students.  

"Gallaudet has operated Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation's commercial bus chassis in the past, but they needed a larger capacity commercial bus that would be able to transport a large number of passengers," said John Hesson, regional sales manager for Colonial, a Mid-Atlantic transportation supplier. "Gallaudet wanted a single-door cab to allow the driver to more easily and safely assist the students in the back of the bus. When we showed representatives from the Gallaudet transportation department the FCCC S2C model, they determined that the FCCC S2C would best meet their business and transportation needs."

The cutaway construction of the FCCC S2C chassis provides coach designers with options to fit their customers' specific business needs, and manufacturers can add or remove cab amenities for a highly customized product. An industry-best 55-degree wheel cut provides extra maneuverability ideal for city driving.

Hesson said Gallaudet executives appreciated the flexibility of the FCCC S2C chassis design because the university needed its new buses to offer wheelchair accessibility to meet the specifications of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Introduced at BusCon 2010, the FCCC S2C provides coach designers with options to craft the coach to fit their customers' specific business needs, while also satisfying OEMs specific production needs for simplicity and ease of build.

Coach manufacturers can add or remove certain cab amenities, including the rear wall, seating, and passenger door, allowing for a customized product. Manufacturers working with the FCCC S2C benefit from the all-inclusive chassis design because they only need to address the vehicle's body, seating and wheelchair capabilities. All other integral parts of the vehicle are taken care of by FCCC.

The FCCC S2C ensures best-in-class ride and handling for maneuvering in and out of tight spaces and is an ideal solution for airport shuttle, park-and-ride, assisted living, charter, rental, church and university transportation needs.

"We are pleased to partner with Gallaudet University to help meet the transportation needs of students, while meeting the university's need for a fuel-efficient commercial bus chassis that offers a comfortable ride and superior handling," said Ivan Roberts, FCCC commercial bus sales manager. "We hope that other universities will follow Gallaudet and recognize the passenger and customer benefits of the FCCC S2C chassis."  

The S2C is powered by an EPA 2010 CumminsISB 6.7-liter engine with up to 260 hp and an Allison automatic six-speed transmission. The engine utilizes Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) technology, which is proven to meet long-term EPA 2010 emissions requirements by dramatically reducing nitrous oxide (NOx), particulate matter and fine particle emissions without increasing fuel consumption as do alternative methods.

Additionally, the S2C features a sloped hood for easy engine access and visibility, and includes a proven lightweight Freightliner cab. Its aluminum frame reduces flex and bowing to minimize coach stress and keep the driver and passengers comfortable.