Secret Service to offer armored buses for 2012 campaign and beyond

The Secret Service is introducing a pair of armored buses President Obama and other high-profile government officials will use on the presidential campaign and other bus tours.

In the past, the Secret Service has leased and customized buses when the president or other governmental dignitaries went on a bus tour. But the governmental protection agency in a month will add two armored buses to its fleet.

The buses are multipurpose vehicles, Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan said Thursday, and won't just be used by Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and other presidential candidates on the 2012 campaign trail. He said any government dignitary going on a bus tour or heading to a remote area will use the buses.

“We've had a demonstrated need for these vehicles for some time now,” Donovan added. “In fact, we've had presidents, vice presidents and presidential candidates participating in bus tours since at least 1980.”

Donovan also said having the buses instead of leasing them will cut down on the cost of installing modifications and removing them when the buses are returned.

According to the news website Talking Points Memo, the buses won’t feature any campaign logos during the campaign because they are government issued. Donovan said the Secret Service hoped to get 10 years of use out of the buses.