Family-owned Minnesota Coaches, a school bus and motorcoach operator, welcomed its first Volvo 9700 in June, with a second one scheduled for delivery soon. The new additions to the company's fleet of 13 Prevost H Series XL2 and X3-45 coaches mark its first foray into Volvo ownership.
Affordability and fuel efficiency were key factors in Minnesota Coaches' purchase decision, according to Joe Krois, head of motor coach operations for the company. "The 9700 is rated at eight mpg. Over 750,000 miles at current fuel prices, that works out to around $100,000 less in fuel costs. Even with variations due to real-life driving conditions, that's a pretty convincing argument," he said.
Other features that also attracted Minnesota Coaches' attention, included extensive on-board amenities, excellent passenger visibility, and full three-point seat belts - a plus for the school and college market given growing safety concerns among school boards and lawmakers, according to Krois.