Grand Rapids, Mich.-based American Seating plans to open a production facility in Buffalo, N.Y., that will serve as the manufacturing site for seats destined for New York City Transit buses and other transit authorities in the state. The facility is expected to open in December and be fully operational in the first quarter of 2017.
In mid-2016, American Seating was awarded contracts with two Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) serving the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) — Volvo North America and New Flyer Industries — to manufacture the seating, which ultimately will be installed in 231 new buses destined for New York City Transit.
“Every bus seating order creates jobs for American workers — we’re proud of that. In fact, we’re proud to have been making bus seats for New York City for nearly 70 years and honored to continue a collaboration begun decades ago,” American Seating President Tom Bush said.
American Seating seats in New York City buses go back to approximately the 1940s. The company first began making bus seats in 1931. The Michigan-based company, which has manufactured bus seats and architectural seating products on its Midwest campus for 130 years — and also at one time had offices located in New York — is reinstating its New York state presence because of the recently awarded contracts.
The seats that American Seating will be making for the MTA are the company’s Metropolitan® seats and will feature new USB-charging technology. The 10,000 square-foot production facility is located in the North Tonawanda neighborhood of Buffalo.