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HUDSON -- The school district's transportation fleet will be increased by two.
The buses, Thomas Built school buses from Myers Equipment, will cost a combined $177,901. Permanent improvement fund money will be used for the purchase, according to Board President Davis Zuro.
One of the buses will seat 72 passengers with the other seating 85, according to Business Manager Derek Cluse. The 85-seat bus will be the second one in the district's fleet. The higher capacity bus is sought after by sports teams due to the larger seating room. he added.
The district has 32 buses in its fleet but will retire two later this summer, Cluse said. The Board of Education unanimously approved the purchases last month.
"We do try to purchase two or three buses per year in order to keep the fleet updated," according to Cluse. "We may look to purchase one more bus this year."
The fleet is well maintained, but the buses cannot be used once they get too old, Cluse says.
"Age is more of a predictor than mileage when it comes to retiring a bus," Cluse said. "The body corrosion is generally what causes us to retire a bus rather than the engine miles."
The older buses are not tossed on a scrap heap in a junk yard and left to rot, Cluse said.
"We typically use an auction process when a bus is still operational, as it yields the highest return," Cluse added. "If a bus has a serious mechanical problem, we will trade it in just to get something for it."
The average age of a bus in about seven years, he added.
"We do have a bus purchasing plan to turn over the entire fleet in 10 years. We have been working bring down the average age of the fleet and to consistently purchases an average of three buses every year using the Permanent Improvement Fund," Cluse said. "We have a excellent preventative maintenance program that allows all of our buses to serve the district for as long as 10 to 12 years and many buses accumulate in excess of 125,000 miles and more."