|Founder(s)||Michael Alan Strafford|
|Area served||South Yorkshire|
|Key people||Michael Alan Strafford|
|Services||School bus services|
MASS Engineering and BrightBus, which is officially MAS Special Engineering Ltd, is a Sheffield-based company engaged in the manufacture of bodies (coachwork) for motor vehicles and school bus operation. The company, currently based at North Anston between Sheffield and Worksop, was originally founded in 1998, by Michael Strafford.
MASS carry around five thousand school children twice a day on a mixture of contracted and commercial work. They were the first operator to 'go live' on the Yorkshire-based 'YorCard' project, an ITSO Smart Card ticket system, and are one of the chief architects of the South Yorkshire Home to School Transport Protocol.
The company is one of the largest dedicated school bus operators in England. It runs a fifty-vehicle fleet of mainly double deckers including fifteen DAF DB250s with Optare Spectra bodywork (two SLF's) and ex-Hong Kong tri-axle Leyland Olympians and Dennis Dragons. The Company also owns 12 Scania N113DRB deckers with Northern Counties bodywork and four further ex-Hong Kong 11m Leyland Olympian/Alexanders with air-conditioning as replacements for its fleet of Leyland Titans. They have been bought from the dealer Ensignbus who took them in from Stagecoach. Two 12m Dennis Condors were procured from Stephensons of Essex.
The ex-Hong Kong vehicles are unusual in that they are officially the largest seated 'rigid' (i.e. non-bendi) buses in the Western World carrying up to 126 seats on the largest 12m Dragons. The company imported the vehicles during 2003 and went through a lengthy process involving in-house tilt test work to gain Certification for three types of vehicle: 12 metre long Leyland Olympian/Alexander and both 12m and 11m Dennis Dragon/Duple MetSec. They also recently imported what is believed to be the only example of a Crown Coach American school bus in the UK that is converted to provide PHSE lessons in schools throughout South Yorkshire.
Between 2001 and 2005, MASS had a substantial presence in Lincolnshire, following the acquisition of the bus operations of Applebys Coaches, Reliance Travel of Great Gonerby and the Grantham depot of RoadCar. The Grantham operations were sold to Centrebus and the Lincoln area operations to Dunn-Line in 2005.
In 2004 the company also purchased the long established Leon Motors of Doncaster, a bus company based in Finningley that was formed in 1922 and operated buses in Doncaster, South Yorkshire, England. By 2008 the company's stage-carriage work passed to First South Yorkshire and the remaining operations were integrated into the main BrightBus depot at North Anston.
The management team at MASS have a long track record in operations across South Yorkshire. This includes time served as drivers for the long established A&C Wigmore bus company, then onto the successful Northern Bus Company. The latter being formed by takeover of A&C Wigmore in 1987. (Source SYPTE).