January 30, 2019

One More Reason Buses are Cool (Literally)


Just before the end of 2018, Transportation for America traveled to Thermo King’s headquarters in Bloomington, MN to get an up close look at the economic impact of public transportation dollars on Minnesota’s manufacturing jobs. Joined by several state and local leaders, Thermo King shared with the group how their high-quality HVAC systems fit into the public transit supply chain.

That welcome rush of cool air when you step onto a bus in the midst of a summer heatwave? You may be experiencing the comfort of a Thermo King cooling system. Back in 1955, Thermo King developed their first air conditioning unit for passenger buses and have been supplying HVAC systems for buses and rail cars ever since. We visited Thermo King’s headquarters in Bloomington, MN to see where they test and design their products.

We worked with the Minneapolis Regional Chamber to bring together several state leaders including Representative Andrew Carlson, Representative Jon Koznik, and Senator Melissa Wiklund, as well as local leaders like Bloomington City Council Member Tim Busse, and members of Bloomington Chamber of Commerce and East Metro Strong. The discussion focused on how federal, state, and local money invested in public transportation supports and creates jobs in Minnesota and across the country.

Investment in public transit not only supports about 500 jobs at Bloomington’s Thermo King facility, but more than 15,000 manufacturing jobs nationwide. Many of those manufacturers and suppliers rely heavily on a trained and consistent workforce. Without stable funding from state and federal partners, these jobs might be lost. That’s a very real threat given that the Trump administration has repeatedly called for eliminating all federal funding for transit capital improvements. And many state governments are quick to cut transit funding when budgets get tight. The transit supply chain and the effects of those cuts aren’t often well understood.

The bottom line is that when we invest in public transit, we are investing in well-paying jobs in communities across America. From assembling busses in Crookston, MN to producing bus seats in Elkhart, IN, or manufacturing rail tracks in Cleveland, OH the public transit supply chain is vast and relies on tens of thousands of hard-working Americans across the country.


Originally posted by Transportation for America.