Michigan district returns parked buses to service

Posted on March 10, 2014

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Nine Forest Hills Public Schools buses will return to service this week after they’d been placed out of service in November following a fire in a bus of the same year and model.

As SBF reported in its profile of Forest Hills Public Schools’ pupil transportation operation, investigators determined that the main power distribution module under the hood of the bus was the point of origin and the cause of the fire. Supervisor of Transportation Darryl Hofstra told SBF at the time that the nine buses in the fleet of that same year and model had been fully inspected, and the power distribution module in those buses was replaced by the manufacturer utilizing its dealer’s master technician.

On Friday, district officials and others involved in the investigation of the fire announced that the nine buses would be put back into service on Monday, according to a story on

“Following a complete and thorough safety inspection of these nine buses, all parties gave these buses the ‘green light’ and approved them to return to normal service to transport students,” Superintendent Dan Behm said in a letter to parents distributed through the district’s listserv. “Bus safety is an integral part of school transportation and will always be our top priority. In addition to the mechanical safety of buses and routine bus inspections, safety protocols remain in the forefront and are always reviewed with students.”

The bus that was damaged by the fire will be replaced this summer as part of a purchase that will include seven other new buses, according to the story on The district is using money from a voter-approved $45 million bond project.

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