Bus orders from the first three phases of the five-phase 2014 Bond program are now complete. The final seven buses of phase three arrived in Arlington on Aug. 29.
The AISD ordered and received 20 new buses in phase three, 13 regular education propane buses and seven special education diesel buses. Original plans called for 19 new buses in phase three, but the transportation department moved one bus up from phase four to phase three in order to achieve the minimum purchase quantity required for a clean-air grant application. The district did not receive the grant, but a cost savings was recognized by ordering the additional bus at 2017 prices.
The 20 new phase-three buses now bring the total of buses ordered and received in the 2014 Bond program to 79. Phase four will include another 20 buses and phase five will include an additional 16.
The new buses help replace aging ones, add to the AISD fleet and offer many improvements, including better safety features. They are crucial for the AISD as the district expands its number of facilities and programs, many of them also funded by the 2014 Bond program. The new facilities and programs mean additional bus routes and bus riders – and the need for plenty of dependable buses.