Matthews Bus Alliance - News and Events

Matthews Bus Alliance News, Events, and Stories

Orange County Takes Delivery of 109, 2016 Thomas Saf-T-Liner C2 Buses.

Orange County recently started taking delivery of 109, 2016 Thomas Saf-T-Liner C2 Buses. 40 of which are wheelchair equipped with flat floors and adjustable track seating got greater route option flexibility.  For the fourth year in a row Orange County is taking delivery of 100 + brand new Thomas Saf-T-Liner C2 school buses equipped with RAC Air Conditioning.  These buses went through a.newly developed rigorous Pre-Delivery inspection and quality control process including AC at our local  Orange County state of the art facility headed up by Gene Hupp,  Quality Control Manager.  As a result of purchasing these new buses and the past 3 purchases, their reliability and durability along with the on site and unmatched local customer support provided by Team Matthews , plus numerous operational process improvements, OCPS has been able to reduce the need for its' spare fleet from 20% to less then 8%, thus significantly reducing costs.  The huge improvements in fuel mileage as a result of putting these fuel efficient clean diesel powered buses with 6 speed Allison Transmissions with Fuel Sense technology into service is saving the district millions of dollars in fuel while improving the environment and reducing down time.

Way to go, OCPS! Thanks for Choosing Matthews!

Orange County New Buses

Matthews Buses Announces Anniversary
Matthews Buses Announces Anniversary
Matthews Buses turned 49 years old today!
First School Bus used by Matthews Buses.
First School Bus used by Matthews Buses.
First School Bus used by Matthews Buses.
The Bus is headed to the Thomas Bus Centennial Celebration
and International Dealer meeting, April 9th - 13th.

Platinum Award
Platinum Award
Glenn Matthews Receiving Platinum Award from Caley Edgerly, President, Thomas Built Buses.
Thomas Built Buses Presidents
Thomas Built Buses Presidents
Left to right

Caley Edgerly, John O’leary, John Thomas, Sr, John Thomas the third, Kelley Platt
Glenn & Lori Matthews
Glenn & Lori Matthews
Glenn and a Lori Matthews in front of 1967 Thomas. First bus ever sold by Bob Matthews and Matthews Buses.
New Florida Front Bulkhead A/C unit for Thomas C2
New Florida Front Bulkhead A/C unit for Thomas C2
Every Thomas Saf-T-Liner C2 bus ordered with Rifled Air Conditioning in the State of Florida from FL DOE ITB 2016-01 will be equipped with this front bulkhead A/C unit that was specifically engineered and designed for the Thomas C2. When combined with the only completely independent, its own compressor, factory installed dash A/C system available in Florida and Rear Bulkhead AC and/or mid-way side mounted evaporator these systems then come standard with a 5 year warranty. These systems are the best performing/ least stressed systems offered to the state of Florida school districts. Drivers in Florida who have these systems love their RAC!
Employees’ Receive Platinum Support Training
August 24, 2016 -Matthews Buses Florida Employees’ Receive Platinum Support Training

Matthews Buses Florida is presently registered and working to earn Platinum Support status from Thomas Built Buses, Inc. Platinum Support is a collaborative effort between Thomas Built Buses and its dealers, focused on improving the customer experience. Platinum Support provides rapid diagnosis, responsive turnaround and quality, consistent communication, robust parts availability and superb customer service; all provided by a highly-trained staff.

"In meeting the criteria to become a certified Platinum Support dealer, customers can rest assured that their servicing dealer is committed to continuous improvement and to providing a service level that greatly exceeds industry standards," said Paul Start, Market Growth Development Manager, Thomas Built Buses. "As industry leaders we are always in a culture of continuous improvement, as it is considered a corner stone of our success."

Matthews Buses Florida employees’ received Platinum Support training prior to our Employee of the Year Celebration on August 24, 2016. Through rigorous Platinum Support training, we are learning as a dealer to eliminate all areas of waste, from day-to-day business practices, including faster vehicle assessment, reducing vehicle down time and lowering vehicle life cycle costs to the customer.
Lee County Board of Education Members View Buses
Lee County Board of Education Members View Buses
Tuesday , September 12 2016

Lee County Board of Education members and the local media viewed 3 different school buses from the three vendors listed on FL DOE - 2016-01 state contract.

Comments regarding the Thomas Saf-T-Liner C2 included, "wow this bus seems much larger inside," "look at all the room the driver has," "wow no AC units hanging in passenger compartment," I like that the driver has their own separate AC," "how come this bus does not have all those rivets?" "It’s so quiet in here!" "This is a very nice bus!" "I like that your service van is here on display and the fact you bring your techs to us!"

In addition to the display of the buses, Matthews Buses Platinum Level Trainer, Ali Rampartab, provided three days of C2 specific training for the districts technicians and driver trainers.

Residents of Lee County will soon be seeing these noticeably different yellow school buses picking up and dropping off the children at the bus stop. They will quickly notice that, "All school buses in Florida are not created equal!" With the Thomas C2 "it’s not what you see that matters most!"
* You don’t see air conditioning evaporators because they have been purpose built into the front and rear bulkheads.
* You don’t see rivets because the 21st century structural construction used by Thomas Built Buses.
* You don’t see the independent drivers AC but it’s there with its own dedicated compressor.
* You don’t see the 5 year "bumper to bumper" warranty but it’s there.
* You don’t see the on-site warranty support but it’s there when you need it.
* You don’t see the lowest cost of ownership but you benefit from it.
*You don’t see the interior curved roof design because it’s squared up on the C2 providing much more interior headroom and larger interior windows.
*You don’t see an afterthought wheelchair lift door on the C2 ESE units because it was purpose built into the design.
*You don’t see the "wheels up on site technician and driver training, but it’s there!"
* You don’t see the convertible integrated seat design that will allow districts to convert the seats to integrated child seats or 3 point shoulder harnesses in the future when needed.
*You don’t see the amazingly quick response customer service that can reduce the districts overall need for spare buses vs. the competitions service business models.
* You don’t see the 2 million dollars of local parts inventory and next day shipping support but it’s there.

What you do see is a bus that looks different and is different than the competition.

Thanks Lee County for choosing Matthews!

Tech Training took place September 12, 2016 in Lee County Presented by Matthews Buses Florida

The training was attended by service managers and site techs from all locations. Class room training was followed by hands on training. A total of nine techs with more than 150 years of school experience was in attendance for the training. 


Lee County Training

Lee County Driver Training 

   Lee County Tech Training

Lee County Hands on Training

Lee Training

Matthews Training & Tech Support
Matthews Training & Tech Support
Ali Rampartab, Matthews Buses Florida Training Manager and Technical Support Adviser, provided hands on training to Pasco County Techs on September 26th and 27th 2016.

Topics covered during the training were: Service Link, Chassis and Body, Service & Maintenance, Troubleshooting & Diagnostics, along with hands on activities.

Suwannee District Schools Takes Deliver of  20 new Thomas Saf-T-Liner C2's 

Suwannee District Schools recently received 20 new Thomas Saf-T-Liner C2's using the Daimler Lease Finance Program for the SECOND time! The program provides "tomorrows buses with today's monies" saving Districts fuel, maintenance costs and labor while providing the latest technology and safety for our "precious cargo". Pictured are (right side) Christopher Landrum, Director of Transportation and (left side) Gary Colvin, Fleet Manager. Other photos include the dedicated and skilled technicians that keep the safest mode of transportation inspected and rolling every day.

Fleet Managers                            Techs


Levy District Schools Takes Delivery of New Buses
Levy District Schools Takes Delivery of New Buses
Levy District Schools received their new 77 passenger C2 Sat-T-Liners this week.

Levy District partnered with Daimler Truck Financial to provide new buses with the Lease/Finance program developed to help Districts save monies by getting the new units they need with the Great Warranty and Service provided by Matthews Buses Florida, Inc.

Pictured receiving the buses from Pete Fenderson (Account Manager Matthews Buses Florida) are Bruce Greenlee, Director of Transportation, David Fisher (Technician) and Eathan Bray (Technician)
Sarasota/Manatee School District Tech Training
Sarasota/Manatee School District Tech Training
Matthews Buses Florida Certified Trainer, Ali Rampartab provided customized training to the Sarasota/Manatee School District on the C2 Cummins Engine ISB 6.7, Troubleshooting & Diagnostics, as well as, Troubleshooting & Diagnostics on the Chassis & Body. Ali gave the participants firsthand experience with Service Link by providing hands-on training to the thirteen (13) techs in attendance. Two (2) of the techs were from the Manatee District.
Glenn Matthews & John Thomas Sr.
Glenn Matthews & John Thomas Sr.
Glenn Matthews with the past President/Owner of Thomas Built Buses, John Thomas Sr.

John set Bob and Justine Matthews up as a dealer back in March of 1967.

Ali Rampartab of Matthews Buses Florida receives the Train the Trainer STARS Platinum Award from Thomas Build Buses

April 15, 2016, Orlando, FL  –Thomas Built Buses announced the winners of the 2015 Train the Trainer STARS Awards at the recent Thomas Dealer Meeting in Greensboro, NC at the Presidents Club Dinner on April 11th, 2016.  Matthews Buses Florida is pleased to announce our own team member Ali Rampartab was named a recipient of the prestigious 2015 STARS Platinum award.

 “We are again honored to have our team member Ali, receive this prestigious recognition from Thomas Built Buses,” said Matthews Buses Florida Glenn Matthews. “Ali is committed to giving our school partners the best customer support in the industry.  Awards like this confirm that this commitment is recognized, and I could not be more proud.”

The STARS Awards are based on the number of training events held by the dealerships. Thomas introduced the program in 2009 to increase the number of dealer training events and encourage communication to Thomas on the training events held by the dealerships.  Ali was one of just 10 people throughout North America to win this award.

 “We have 62 trainers currently in the program and conducted over 934 classes this year. With the average year having 255 work days after holidays that is an average of over three classes everyday”, said Mike Stotler, Thomas Built Buses.  “Since the Train the Trainer program started, we have trained more than 40,000 technicians. We also have ha some very close competition for the awards.”

In addition to Ali taking home the Platinum STARS award, Matthews Buses Florida also received the Presidents Club Platinum Award the highest level possible at the 2015 Thomas International Dealer Sales Meeting in Greensboro, NC.  The award is based upon a scoring system that includes market share penetration, sales promotion, key performance indicators, strategic business plan, customer service, financial performance, parts and service performance.

Congratulations to Ali Rampartab and Matthews Buses Florida for bringing home two very prestigious awards!


Matthews Buses is headquarted in Ballston Spa NY and has been meeting the needs of school district customers in NY and FL for over 49 years. Our founder’s motto “Any job big or small we do it right or not at all” guides us in everything we do! Our Orlando FL location is centrally located for customers throughout the state of FL. The Matthews Group, parent company of Matthews Buses, Rifled Air Conditioning, Matthews Specialty Vehicles, is equally owned by Glenn and Brad



Richmond NASCAR Race
Richmond NASCAR Race
Our Florida Sales Team was invited by Thomas Built Buses to attend the Richmond NASCAR race along with other select top performing dealer session personnel. Thomas sponsored the #2 car for this race in celebration of their 100th anniversary. Penske team car was driven by Brad Keselowski
Brad Koselowski-Thomas Built Buses Race Car Driver
Brad Koselowski wins the Talledaga 500. Good karma from driving the #2 Thomas Built Buses car the week prior.
Way to go Orlando!
Way to go Orlando!
Orlando was host to the 2nd annual Invictus Games at Walt Disney World’s ESPN All Sports Resort this past week. Glenn Matthews and family were in attendance to cheer on these amazing inspirational wounded warriors as they competed in sports competition. The games were founded by Prince Harry of Wales. "So what an amazing event! Being at these games seeing our heroes who have bravely fought through unbelievable rehabilitation to compete and live is tremendously humbling and so inspiring. These wounded vets are simply amazing and truly Invictus!" Glenn Matthews
Road Service Techs- Florida Coverage
Road Service Techs- Florida Coverage
A day in the life of our Road Service Techs = Matthews coverage.
Orange County Schools Visit Thomas Plant
Orange County Schools Visit Thomas Plant
October 25,2016

Orange County Schools Conducts Pilot Inspection at Thomas Built Buses Manufacturing Plant in High Point, NC.

Orange County Public School District conducted a Pilot review of the Thomas Saf-T-Liner C2 Buses on the production line.

During the inspection trip the team toured the Thomas Built Buses plant where they witnessed firsthand what makes the C2 different from all the others. They noticed and understand "It’s What You Don’t See That Matters Most."

Thanks Orange County Public Schools for again Choosing Matthews!

As pictured (left to right)
Mark Chiampi-SR Admin,Business Support Services
Brett Cairns IT- Fleet Support Communications
Maurice Frye- SR Admin Fleet Support
5 out of 5 Stars for Matthews Florida Serivce
Polk County Rates Matthews Buses Florida 5 out of 5 stars on Facebook Review.

Greg Pitts reviewed Matthews Buses Florida - 5 stars on October 11, 2016.
Matthews Bus service department is second to none. They understand what service after the sale is all about. Special thanks to Donna Matura and Ford Lyon for all your help in Polk County.
Carver Middle School Thanks Matthews Buses Florida
Carver Middle School Thanks Matthews Buses Florida
Carver Middle School thanks Matthews Buses Florida for their Sponsorship of Marc Mero’s / Champion of Choices "Dream Big" presentation.

Marc relayed to Michele G. Hudson Director of Partnerships, Champion of Choices, that the school was so happy to host the event and it was very much needed at this school.

Michelle stated "We are so grateful that you partnered with Champion of Choices to inspire, empower, and encourage youth.
It is amazing how we hear from students years afterward who tell us how Marc’s message impacted their life. I hope we will be able to continue making a difference together."

FAPT Summer Symposium- See you in Destin!
FAPT Summer Symposium- See you in Destin!
Matthews Buses Florida, RAC, and BPE will be at the San Destin Resort June 19 - 23, 2016 for the FAPT Summer Symposium.

Come visit us at Rum Runners Tavern to celebrate Thomas Built Buses turning 100 years old. There will be great bus people serving great bus people with networking , food, beverages, and a lot of fun.

RumRunners is located upstairs in the Resort Village. Free shuttles operate every 30 min until 12 am.

Event Times:
Sunday open at 4 pm
Monday open after meet and greet at 6 :30 pm
Tuesday open at 4 pm beverages and more
Wednesday open after event dinner at 7 - 8 pm until..going away party

Please see a Team Matthews member for further information and entry to event.

Marc Mero to Speak at Carver Middle School
Marc Mero to Speak at Carver Middle School
Matthews Buses Florida Sponsors Marc Mero’s / Champion of Choices "Dream Big" presentation at Carver Middle School on May 27, 2016.

Former WWE and WCW Wrestling Champion, Marc Mero, has as an extraordinary ability to connect with young people of all ages. Not because of his former wrestling career - but because of his personal story of overcoming insurmountable obstacles throughout his life to achieve success.

Champion of Choices empowers students to make positive choices. Positive choices are the key to the healthy development of America’s youth and lay the foundation to strengthen families and society. The goal of the Champion of Choices School Program is to provide a motivational learning experience for youth that builds positive life skills, improves school cultures, and strengthens family relationships.

The presentation changes students’ thinking - how they see themselves and others, gives students HOPE and helps them realize they are not alone in this world. It breaks through walls and defenses to open students’ hearts to new directions and gives students the confidence to see that "Champions Make Choices and Choices Make Champions.

To learn more about this powerful program you can visit www.

Marc Mero’s touching video clip (viewed and shared by millions) -
2016 FAPT Conference in Sandestin Florida
2016 FAPT Conference in Sandestin Florida
Transportation Director of Clay County, Robert Waremburg and his family at the 2016 FAPT Conference in Sandestin Florida with Matthews Buses Florida, Glenn Matthews.
Lee County School District Tech Training
Lee County School District Tech Training
Lee County Technicians and Supervisors received C2 Saf-T-Liner Familiarization; Service and Maintenance; Bendix Air Disc Brake and Emissions training from Matthews Buses Florida’s Ali Rampartab’s Training Manager and Technical Support Advisor.

Lee County had 39 Technicians and Supervisors in attendance for the training.