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In response to the state superintendent’s plan to update South Carolina’s aging school bus fleet, NSTA says that contracting could provide new buses while saving money.
Half of the state’s 5,582 school buses are more than 15 years old. The state superintendent asks legislators to fund bus replacement as well as driver and technician pay increases.
The Massachusetts-based contractor has also equipped its entire fleet with Zonar telematics and Seon Trooper TL-4 DVR camera systems.
The average age of a Gwinnett County (Ga.) Public Schools bus is 17 years, and there are concerns about obsolete parts on buses, officials say.
Arlington (Wash.) Public Schools leaders are looking for support for a two-year levy on the Nov. 4 general election ballot expected to generate $1.5 million each year to replace old school buses. Nearly half the district’s fleet is at least 13 years old and fully depreciated.
Medina (Ohio) City School District officials parked one of the district’s buses outside Medina High School before a city school board meeting took place so board members and the public could see the corrosion that has rendered many of the district’s buses irreparable. The board approved funding for 15 new school buses and approved soliciting bids for the purchase of two additional school buses equipped to transport students with special needs.
The Pittsfield (Mass.) City Council will trade in 52 buses and buy 43 new buses that Pittsfield Public Schools will own and operate. The district has also hired a consultant to do a one-month study of the fleet’s efficiency, which will help the next time it looks into buying a new fleet, and it could help in creating space for students who would pay to ride the buses.
The drivers for Henry (Ga.) County Schools with exemplary attendance are entered into a drawing, and they are awarded new school buses that will be delivered before the end of the school year. The buses were purchased through the state of Georgia’s “Bonds for Buses” program.
South Carolina’s Horry County Schools is considering making the investment each year until 2019 under a proposal set forth by the district’s chief officer for support services. The proposal was made to get the buses in the fleet under 15 years old to reduce breakdowns and repairs. No final decisions will be made until the district learns whether it will receive additional funding from the state.
House Bill 41 would allow the state Board of Education to award a grant to a school district or charter school to replace a school bus manufactured before 2002 with a bus that uses compressed natural gas, propane or clean diesel fuel. The grant could also be used to install an alternative-fuel fueling station and to retrofit an operation’s maintenance facility to service alternative-fuel school buses.
TradeWind Energy arranges for the lease of and delivers two new buses to Shidler (Okla.) School District after company officials learn about the district’s aging fleet and the district's difficulties in maintaining it. TradeWind Energy also commits to paying all costs associated with the lease of the buses for three years.
Under the state’s budget that was approved earlier this summer, a school bus is eligible for replacement when it is either 20 years old or has been operated for 250,000 miles, up from 200,000 miles. While advocates of the changes say that it will save money and promote more efficient use of school buses, some industry officials express differing views.