New buses slated for school district

The Abbotsford school district received approval for a large order of eight new school buses, expected to start running in spring 2014.

Eight brand new school buses are coming to the Abbotsford school district in 2014, the first new buses to the district in two years.

The replacements are part of a provincial purchase of 96 buses spread across 31 districts, at a cost of $11 million and representing about 10 per cent of the overall B.C. fleet.

The Abbotsford purchase is the third largest in the province at a cost of $934,845. It will comprise of two 84-seaters and six 72-seaters.

Annually, the district replaces two or three buses, according to communications manager Dave Stephen. Six of the eight new buses represent two years’ worth of replacements. The final two buses are additions to the current fleet of 46.

“The final two buses are due to expansion and growth of the routes we provide and numbers of students utilizing bus transport in the district,” explained Stephen by email.

The new buses are due to be delivered in early 2014.

The large B.C. school buses of 80 or more seats are replaced every 15 years or 400,000 km. The 34-76 seaters are replaced every 12 years or 325,000 km.

This is the third year since the Ministry of Education has taken over purchasing buses for all school districts. Earlier, districts would negotiate with providers individually.

The government states that the new bulk purchasing system has reduced costs of new buses by 10 to 15 per cent.