CHARLOTTETOWN, Prince Edward Island — The provincial government has unveiled a new plan to bolster school bus safety.
The move comes after structural deficiencies were found in some older school buses during an inspection earlier this month. The island’s three school boards halted bus service on May 8 and 9 while the Department of Transportation and Public Works conducted a more thorough inspection of the fleet.
The new safety strategy, announced by Education and Early Childhood Minister Gerard Greenan, includes:
the purchase of 33 new school buses
regulations to ensure that buses in the active fleet are no more than 12 years old
further implementation of a comprehensive preventive maintenance program
a detailed capital plan to ensure the purchase of new buses in future years
The 33 new buses were ordered for delivery by September. They are in addition to 24 new buses that were acquired after the structural deficiencies were found.
Once the second order of buses is delivered, Prince Edward Island’s active fleet will be more than 20 percent new, and 94 percent of the buses will be 10 years old or newer.
An enhanced bus inspection and preventive maintenance program will continue to be implemented by the Department of Transportation and Public Works.
“We are taking action on all of these fronts to address immediate issues and to ensure school bus safety in the future,” Greenan said.