The Knox school bus fleet is getting a major upgrade. Last week, the school board approved the purchase of five vehicles, totaling just under $400,000. Those include two 78-passenger Bluebird buses for just under $188,000, and a 48-passenger Bluebird handicap bus for nearly $101,000. Knox schools will also be getting two 14-passenger Starcraft minibuses for a total of just over $110,000.
Those prices are after the trade-in of six vehicles, according to Transportation Director Mark Jensen. He said the purchases will reduce the number of the corporation’s buses over the age of 12 from 16 down to 10.
School Board President Gary Dulin praised the move. “You know, it’s been said that we have one of the oldest fleets in the area, and I can’t remember ever purchasing five buses at one time,” he said. “So hopefully, this will start moving us in the right direction to get our fleet up to par.”
To pay for the new buses, the school board voted to spend up to $100,000 out of the corporation’s Rainy Day Fund. The money had been transferred there last month out of the Bus Replacement Fund’s cash reserves. That’s in addition to the $325,000 the corporation has budgeted for Bus Replacement this year.