SD85 eyes new buses

School District 85 students who bus to school may enjoy a shiny new ride next school year.

School District 85 students who bus to school may enjoy a shiny new ride next school year.

Vancouver Island North has been awarded $324,847 by the province toward the purchase of three new school buses, part of a $14 million fleet overhaul that will provide 125 new buses to 37 school districts in B.C.

Once again this year, the Ministry of Education has negotiated bulk pricing agreements with school bus vendors. Bulk pricing was introduced by government for the first time last year and resulted in savings of

10 to 15 per cent. Previously, school districts negotiated bus pricing individually. Contractors, Independent schools and First Nations schools also are able to take advantage of the bulk pricing agreements.

“Renewing our fleet of buses helps to keep students safe and lower our carbon emissions,” said Don McRae, Minister of Education. “By pooling our purchasing power across school districts, we can negotiate better prices and direct those savings into classrooms.”

B.C. student transportation services cost more than $90 million annually. Approximately 1,200 buses are owned and operated by school districts, and another 600 school buses are operated by contractors.

Buses are regularly replaced when they reach certain milestones in years or kilometres driven.

B.C. school buses travel over 33 million kilometres each year, the equivalent of 43 round trips to the moon.