The Eastern Pulaski Community School Corporation has decided to go with a different manufacturer for this year’s round of bus purchases. The school board Monday approved the purchase of three 78-passenger Bluebird buses, for a total cost of about $276,000.
Superintendent Dan Foster said the school corporation has traditionally purchased IC Collins buses. “We’ve had lots of issues lately with the buses,” he explained. “We’ve had buses that have gone for repair, been bringing them home from repair, and the same issue occurs again and so we’ve taken them back. It’s just been a lot of down time.”
Board Member Joe Cunningham, who serves on the school corporation’s transportation committee, said the Bluebird bus seemed like a much better product and noted that the dealer was more willing to come and visit with school officials. Foster added that one thing that impressed him is that Bluebird’s vehicles are designed specifically to be buses. “The IC Collins buses are based on a truck chassis. They’re doing a truck chassis and then making a bus fit it,” Foster said. “Bluebird, that’s what they do. So there’s a lot of smaller things that we believe make those buses a little bit safer, as well.”
Eastern Pulaski will trade in three of its old buses, but Foster said it’s a different three than originally planned. “We decided that there was one bus having a few more issues that was on schedule to be traded in next year, and we had one bus that was still doing pretty well that was on schedule to be traded in this year. And we reversed those two.”
The school board officially amended the bus replacement plan to reflect the change, after no objections were raised during a public hearing.