Don't buy a fibreglass-bodied shuttle bus. They just aren't built as well as a real school bus, and tend to leak water inside. If you ignore this advice, do not buy ANYTHING from Starcraft. (If you ignore THIS advice...you're on your own.) I drove for a shuttle company that had four Starcrafts: two 2000's and two 2001's, all 25-passenger (6-row) diesel E-450's. All had all kinds of electrical problems, and had literally shaken themselves to pieces with <100,000 miles. By 2005, three had been taken out of service & scrapped...the fourth had eaten over $10,000 (that's not a typo) in repairs in 2 years, including a transmission, two A/C compressors, an alternator, a steering box, and two (!!) complete front end rebuilds. (All before 100K!)
Do not buy ANY van-chassis bus unless and until you weigh it. I have driven a couple that were overweight EMPTY! Offhand, a 2000 E-450 with a huge 20-passenger Champion luggage-van body scaled at 14,300lbs with a full fuel tank & the driver. The GVWR was 14,050. I wouldn't go bigger than a 5-row (21-pax) body on an E-450, or a 4-row (17-pax, a real shorty) on an E-350...MAYBE a 5-row E-350 if it's a smaller (5.4, 351) gas engine. The 7.3 diesel in these is a good engine (the 2004-later 6.0 is a catastrophe, avoid it), but it's also a half-ton hunk of cast iron in a vehicle with an already-limited chassis capacity. (There's a reason 98% of Ford-chassis motorhomes have gas engines.)
Having driven a Blue Bird TC1000 (my friend's brother bought & is converting it...the thread is in the "short bus" forum), they're pretty nice. The difference between it & a 2000 is simple: a TC2000 has 22.5" wheels, a TC1000 has 19.5" wheels. The 1999 TC1000 TranShuttle (transit instead of a school bus) I drove had a flat floor (a 2000 probably will have wheelhouses in back) and was 10'2" not counting the 2-way antenna. It has rear air suspension, plenty of ceiling height, sliding windows, full air brakes, and a GVWR of 25,000lbs (10,700front/15,000rear). It even has factory cruise control.
Engine is a 5.9 Cummins with a 4-speed automatic...not a lot of power (175HP), but reliable, durable, and pretty good mileage for a 10' high box. The turning radius is amazing...it will almost pull a u-turn in its own length. It's more maneuverable than any cutaway van I've driven, even the little 17-passenger shorties. This one has road A/C (rear only, which was weird
) and a factory stereo/PA system. The only gripe I have is BB's bizarre electronic gauge cluster. Figure on adding aftermarket oil, volt, temp, and probably transmission temp gauges to one of these.
Like all BB's, they're built like tanks.