In The News

New Flyer’s research center can be start of something big for Anniston

No matter where you stand in the United States, there’s a decent chance the pipes beneath your feet and manhole covers on your street came from Anniston. It goes with the city’s industrial legacy as the one-time home of numerous manufacturers dedicated to infrastructure.

While some of those heavy industrial facilities remain, the bulk have closed. Now you are more likely to come across a first-responder from Anytown, U.S.A., who was trained at FEMA’s Center for Domestic Preparedness at McClellan.

Very soon you also might encounter the latest cutting-edge technology bus that was developed in Anniston.

New Flyer, North America’s largest transit bus manufacturer, unveiled its Vehicle Innovation Center last week in Anniston. The $4.1 million center in an industrial park near Interstate 20 will focus on the future-oriented technology of buses, which includes electric vehicles and driverless vehicles. New Flyer officials said the bus technology center is the first of its kind in North America.

“This center will lead development of the future of transit technology, including autonomous driving and electric systems … and it’s all designed and developed right here in Anniston,” Wayne Joseph, New Flyer transit bus president, said last Thursday. “We look forward to making a positive impact on the community and on innovation and jobs.”

That view was seconded by Paul Soubry, president and CEO of New Flyer Group, “We’re not waiting for the future to happen, we’re making it happen.”

We commend New Flyer for its forward-looking strategy, and for making the right choice of where to locate this technology center.

We challenge Anniston’s leadership to build on this success story, using it to lure other technology centers to our community. New Flyer is getting the wheels rolling on a driverless, electric bus. Let’s all work to build off that momentum.

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