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Bus purchases approved in Seine River

By: Jordan Ross

Posted: 03/13/2019 7:00 PM

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Seine River School Division will continue experimenting with gasoline buses following a board vote on Tuesday night.

Trustees approved an $854,000 expenditure to purchase six new buses, including one with a wheelchair lift, to add to the division’s current fleet of 78. Three buses will run on diesel, and three on gas.

The bulk of the funds will be drawn from the division’s surplus, as its bus reserve fund is depleted.

The division is midway through a one-year trial of its first gas bus, approved last year by trustees curious to see if its lower purchase and repair costs offset its shorter lifespan.

Paul Ilchena, the division’s secretary-treasurer, said the gas bus is performing well so far, but said it was premature for the division to draw any final conclusions.

Trustees were given the option of buying five instead of six buses this year, but declined, citing growing enrollments.

The division spent $475,000 on bus purchases last year.

As new buses are added, the oldest in its fleet are auctioned off or sold to private buyers and often fetch $3,000 to $4,000 apiece, Ilchena said.

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