Information On the purchase of 65 passenger buses
The decision was made to purchase 60 passenger buses to replace the 65 passenger buses that were sold over the past 3 years.
With the newer buses, we are getting 2-4 miles per gal more than the older 65 passenger buses.
The larger buses make for better resale. We surplus our older buses and what they are sold for, makes up the 10% that we pay as the State pays for 90% of our transportation costs. So, it is like getting our buses for free.
The 60 passenger buses are needed to accommodate sports and field trips and emergency dismissals.
If the time comes when we revert to single tripping, we will need 60 or greater passenger buses to accommodate all the students.
We would like to continue with double tripping as long as we can because the benefits of doing so outweigh the cons. Such as we would need to add 2 more buses to our fleet which would lead to hiring 2 more full time drivers at a cost of approximately $30,000/year each including benefits plus the added cost for maintenance, fuel, tires etc. for those two extra buses. Middle & high school students that stay after would not be able to ride the elementary bus home as they do now; elementary students would not be able to come in on the early bus for band, chorus and other activities, studies have shown that mixing younger students with older students create more discipline problems on the bus, our bus runs are currently 30 to 60 minutes long, if we went to single tripping, the students ride time would increase and sport trips would not be able to leave until the buses return.
Over the past couple of years, we have had a reduction in drivers, and it is very difficult to hire new ones. When we are unable to replace these drivers, we are forced to consolidate bus runs leading to a higher occupancy load. As of now, most of our buses are assigned 15 to 37 students per bus run. Two of those buses need to shuttle our sports students to Harpursville and Bainbridge in-between their afternoon bus runs.