Fairfield Nets New Buses in State Buy

The S.C. State Department of Education announced last week the delivery of a new fleet of buses for S.C. schools, including five that will be heading for Fairfield County.

“The State Superintendent of Education and State Legislators have taken a much appreciated step towards updating the bus fleet in South Carolina,” said J.R. Green, Superintendent of Fairfield County Schools.

This is the first state purchase of newly manufactured buses since 2008. After all deliveries are completed, 342 new school buses, equipped to transport students with and without disabilities, will be in service in state-owned bus shops across South Carolina.

The new buses will replace all 1984-1987 model buses and some of the state’s 1988 model buses. The new buses have an average fuel efficiency of 7.5 miles per gallon, a 29 percent increase over the 5.8 miles per gallon of the replaced buses.

The State shelled out $28,054,260 for the new buses ($82,030 per bus), with 88 percent of the money coming from state lottery funds and 12 percent from the general fund. The new buses replace 6.8 percent of the state’s fleet.

“Transporting students safely to and from school is a priority for the Department and school districts,” said State Superintendent of Education Mick Zais. “These buses are more fuel efficient, less expensive to maintain and are equipped to transport students with disabilities. Today marks the first step in modernizing the nation’s oldest school bus fleet.”

Fairfield County Schools was targeted for seven new buses. It was not determined when the remaining two buses would be purchased or delivered. Neighboring Chester County has been assigned three new buses, but received none in this round of purchases.

Newberry will receive all three of their three assigned replacement buses. Richland County will receive one of their 19 assigned new buses.

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