Creative Bus Sales collaborated with Forest River Bus to address the transportation crisis around bus availability in the U.S. The crisis stems from numerous factors, including a significant shortage of chassis and other components necessary to build buses, supply constraints for suppliers and sub-suppliers, and a labor shortage — leading to low inventory, extended delivery times, and a marked increase in bus prices for organizations and municipalities that rely on paratransit vehicles.
Creative Bus Sales has hundreds of Federal Transit Administration-compliant Ford E-Transit vans customized by Forest River in inventory right now and will reach 1,000 by year-end, providing an immediate, green solution to this significant problem. Throughout 2023, Creative Bus Sales plans to make significantly more Ford E-Transit vehicles available.
In October, several transportation trade associations striving to bring awareness to the burgeoning crisis sent a letter to Pete Buttigieg, U.S. Secretary of Transportation, urging the government to help address the critical shortage of chassis for small buses. The letter stated that due to the supply shortage, it is estimated that 20,000 small bus purchases are currently backlogged, and 75% of State Departments of Transportation are feeling an unprecedented level of concern, according to a recent survey by the Community Transportation Association of America. Bus dealers predict the small bus backlog could eclipse 20,000 in 2023, and a full market recovery could be another five to seven years away.
Creative Bus Sales' partnership with Forest River means those organizations and municipalities that depend on transportation for the elderly or community transit could have a safe and reliable Ford E-Transit paratransit vehicle, delivered in a matter of days, at a minimal price premium compared to a gas-powered vehicle. The electric chassis vehicle requires approximately 40% fewer parts and less labor to assemble, making it a more readily available option in today's supply-constrained environment.
"We are proud to offer the largest quantity of Ford E-Transit vehicles and provide a quick solution to a pressing need," said TJ Matijevich, VP/GM, Creative Bus Sales. "This solution enables many organizations to introduce electrified vehicles into their fleet for the first time, without the need for extensive charging infrastructure or a heavy cost burden to manage. We see this as a turning point for many cities and businesses that haven't yet stepped into electrified vehicles."