South Fayette to purchase 5 new buses
School directors in South Fayette have agreed to purchase five buses to help alleviate double runs. The board voted at its Sept. 17 meeting to purchase the new 72-passenger buses from Blue Bird. Each bus costs about $86,000.
The district has been borrowing two buses from Blue Bird since the beginning of the school year and three drivers have double runs—two each morning and two each afternoon. Adding the three additional buses will eventually eliminate all of the double runs by the end of November.
Two of the buses will be financed and paid for with money from this year’s budget. Director of Finance Brian Tony said he will be able to acquire financing in arrears for the remaining buses. Payment would begin on them between July and October 2014 through that year’s budget. He added there are currently no opportunities for the district to acquire used school buses.
Prior to voting to add the buses to the fleet, board member Teresa Burroughs said she was concerned about the double runs.
“It makes me nervous that we have double runs,” she said. “Not all roads are clear in the winter. You’re putting the bus driver and kids in danger,” Burroughs added.
Kelly Barish, a South Fayette parent, said the double runs are a huge concern. She said she was told her child would be home by 3:49 p.m. on the first day of school, but wasn’t home until 25 minutes after that.
She said her daughter and other students have had to wait in the cafeteria for 30 minutes before and after school because of the double bus runs. “The first kids in are the last kids out,” Barish said. “Additional buses will be absolutely tremendous.”
The board authorized Tony to contact Blue Bird to reserve the additional buses and to contact PNC regarding financing.