Like a personal car or truck, school buses require regular maintenance, such as oil changes and New York State inspections. However, there are many additional state mandates that govern how often buses must be inspected and impose much stricter standards of road-worthiness. For instance, if even one safety belt on a school bus is malfunctioning, it must be serviced before it can return to transporting students.
Because they drive many more miles and suffer more wear-and-tear than the typical family car each year, buses are usually replaced more often. Currently, Broadalbin-Perth is working on a 6- to 7-year replacement cycle of its buses. Because of New York State aid for bus purchases, the district can sell a newer vehicle for a higher price and greatly reduce or eliminate the local tax impact of the purchase of a new bus.
How important is it to you that the district maintain a bus fleet that is less than 10 years old? Less than 7 years old? Less than 5 years old?
- Broadalbin-Perth employs three full-time mechanics, a dispatcher, 22 bus drivers, six bus aides and eight substitute bus drivers.
- Eleven of the district’s 18 regular-run 66-passenger buses are model year 2007 or later. Four of the district’s six regular-run vans are model year 2009.
- Once a bus is five years old, the cost of maintaining that bus increases 50 percent; six years old, 55 percent; seven years old, 60 percent. By the time a bus is 10 years old, the cost of maintaining that bus is nearly double the cost of maintaining a new bus.
- All school buses must undergo a New York State inspection every 1,000-1,500 miles or 30-45 days, whichever comes first. All school buses must be inspected by the New York State Department of Transportation every six months.