Re: The rumor mill.....
Well...that is a debatable subject I think. In reality ALL buses are about the safest vehicle on the road. That said, Wayne built a reputation on strong buses. The Lifeguard and Lifestar (flat front) buses were built using continuous panels. You may notice that there are not seams on your bus anywhere on the side because it is one piece from front to rear. There are also other subtle differences. MY seats were held in with Grade 8 bolts as opposed to Grade 5 like some other manufacturers for instance.
Unfortunately it was Wayne's safe construction that ultimately killed the company. Each length of bus required different tooling. Likewise different overall lengths for different states also required different tooling, even within say the 11 window 66 passenger category. This lead to higher costs and far longer lead times. As it is a district has to wait a considerable amount of time to get a new bus in. My mother is on the school board for my alma mater and she said they typically order a bus a year before they plan to actually take delivery. There is no going and picking one up "off the lot."