Purchase of 200 new school buses up for debate in Hillsborough

TAMPA, FL (WFLA) – Hillsborough County Superintendent Jeff Eakins plans to ask the school board Tuesday to spend $21 million to buy 200 new school buses. Hillsborough County has one of the oldest school bus fleets in the state.

A September 17th incident where an older model bus crashed into an Odessa pond highlighted the district’s need for new buses. The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office blamed the driver for the accident, not mechanical issues. Still many parents tell 8 On Your Side they find the age of the bus alarming. It is 20 years-old and has nearly 300,000 miles on it.

More than 150 of Hillsborough’s 900 school buses on the roads right now are two decades old. District leaders planned to purchase 100 new school buses each year to update the fleet, but fell behind on those plans. The vote to buy 200 new buses this year was already in the works before the accident.

“Now understanding and knowing all of the fund balances and how we are going to be moving forward, it makes it a lot easier for us to make clear decisions as to where the priorities are with directing the budget and how to spend it,” explained School Board Chair Susan Valdes.

If the purchase is approved Tuesday, it will still take a while to get the fleet up to date. Eakins says money is already budgeted to purchase 100 additional buses each year for the next decade.

Tuesday’s meeting is at 3 p.m. Count on 8 On Your Side to be there to let you know what happens.

WFLA.com provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

1 thought on “Purchase of 200 new school buses up for debate in Hillsborough

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s