In St. Cloud, Minnesota, public transportation doesn’t just serve the people who ride it.
The New Flyer bus factory, located in the heart of St. Cloud, fuels businesses, individuals, and families across the United States. Founded in 1930, New Flyer is now the largest bus manufacturer in North America and a proud APTA member. Each day, there are over 30,000 New Flyer buses on American roads helping take people to work, doctor’s appointments, local restaurants, shopping and errands, or school drop–offs.
“There’s nothing more important to a person than to be able to do what they need to do every day. They need to go to work, they need to go to the doctor’s office. They need a means to get there, and many people rely on public transportation,” said Margaret Lewis, Senior Vice President of Manufacturing and Facilities at New Flyer.
But riders aren’t the only ones who depend on New Flyer to access jobs and opportunities. When the company opened their 350,000 square foot facility in St. Cloud they created over 136 new jobs immediately, which didn’t go unnoticed by those looking for good–paying positions that could support their families.
“Working in a plant like this is really important to have here in St. Cloud,” said Teshiona Payton, a welder at New Flyer. “Not only do I work here, I have an aunt that works here and she has two sons that work here as well. Having so many people employed here in St. Cloud at this plant alone, it’s a big deal.”
The jobs created by the St. Cloud plant aren’t only located in St. Cloud. A single New Flyer bus can have parts from over 25 different states – from doors built by welders in Pennsylvania to HVAC systems built by technicians in Minnesota. It’s because of this extensive supply chain that investments in public transportation have such a significant impact on the economy. Every dollar invested in public transportation generates five dollars in economic returns.
Public transportation is a true ‘Made in America’ story because nearly every component is designed, manufactured, and serviced in this country. Protecting funding for public transportation will help companies like New Flyer source the parts they need so buses are made and the people who rely on public transit are supported.
“Not only do we create jobs with the assembly of the buses, but the suppliers that give us parts and provide parts to us, that outreach goes out to those communities as well,” said Lewis.