COLUMBIA — The Newberry County School District has received three new school buses out of the 342 new buses for the state.
State Superintendent of Education Mick Zais announced last week that the S.C. Department of Education has received the first delivery of the new buses.
This is the first state purchase of new buses since 2008. As of last Thursday, 126 of the 342 had been delivered to their counties.
Once the deliveries are complete, 342 new school buses, equipped to transport students with and without disabilities, will be in service in state-owned bus shops across South Carolina.
“Transporting students safely to and from school is a priority for the Department and school districts,” said Zais. “These buses are more fuel efficient, less expensive to maintain, and are equipped to transport students with disabilities. Today marks the first step in modernizing the nation’s oldest school bus fleet.”
The buses replace those from model years 1984, 1985, 1986 and 1987 and some 1988 models.
Each bus cost $82,030 which resulted in a total purchase cost of $28,054,260 with $24,567,000 coming from lottery funds, $3,487,260 coming from general fund carryforward revenues and the remainder coming from other miscellaneous sources.
The miscellaneous sources include any revenue from the sale of the scrap metal from decommissioned school buses.
Fuel efficiency is expected to increase 1.7 miles per gallon from the current miles per gallon of 5.8.
“State government has heard the concerns of students and parents about the age of the school bus fleet, and today is a tangible milestone as we work towards resolving this issue in the years ahead,” Zais said.