District asks voters to fund school bus replacement

Posted on October 28, 2014

ARLINGTON, Wash. — Arlington Public Schools leaders are looking to voters to support a two-year levy on the Nov. 4 general election ballot expected to generate $1.5 million each year to replace old school buses, The Herald reports. This is the first time Arlington has run a transportation levy.

The funds would be used to buy 26 buses, Andrea Conley, a spokeswoman for the district, told the newspaper.

Nearly half the district’s fleet is at least 13 years old and fully depreciated, making the vehicles ineligible for state matching money that helps pay for new buses, according to The Herald. Without additional funding, 71% of the fleet will be fully depreciated in 10 years. So far this fall, there have been five bus breakdowns, which is more than the district has had over some entire school years, the newspaper reports.

However, the fleet continues to perform well on Washington State Patrol inspections, according to The Herald. Bus driver Carol Mitzelfeldt told the newspaper that if it weren’t for the district's mechanics, some of the buses would no longer be in service.

To read the full story, click here.

Related Topics: school bus replacement, taxes, Washington

Comments ( 2 )
  • Richard Skibitski

     | about 6 years ago

    There should be a regularly scheduled retirement program in place to avoid this kind of situation. X number of vehicles each year, every year. That allows the management to properly plan budgets, lowers the average age of the fleet, offsets cost of new vehicles by selling or trading vehicles that still have value, and keeps the pasengers in newer vehicles with more up to date safety features. Newer vehilces also are more efficient, and less polluting than their 13 year old cousins. Allowing such a large percentage of any given fleet to age out, and replacing them in large blocks is just poor planning at some level, whether it be at the fleet operations level not properly planning, or the BA level in not communicating effectively to the board, or the board not accepting the advise of the professionals they hired to run the district operation. Now they just lined themselves up to be in exactly the same position 10 years down the road.

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