Transportation improvements increase efficiencies
Transportation improvements increase efficiencies
Posted on 04/01/2016

The transportation department is working to significantly reduce costs by purchasing more efficient buses and eliminating buses that are fully depreciated. The goal is to generate enough in bus depreciation revenue to make the bus fleet replacement self-sustainable.  
 
The district has purchased 64 buses since 2014. Seven of those were partially funded with grant money received from the Department of Ecology and the Environmental Protection Agency. The remaining 57 were one-time investments from the district’s general fund. 
 
According to Chief Financial Officer Corine Pennington, the district receives a return on the investment for new buses:
 
30 percent increase in fuel efficiency
90 percent reduction in fuel emissions
Funding from the state in depreciation revenue for each bus over a period of 9 to 13 years
Reduced maintenance costs (parts and labor)
State Patrol bus inspections have steadily increased the past  four years to 99.4 percent during the summer of 2015
 
“Fiscal responsibility is critically important to our district.  We have been able to plan this fleet sustainability project with existing funds without a transportation levy,” said Pennington. Asking voters to approve transportation levies are a common strategy for purchasing new school buses in Washington State. 
 
A total of 49 buses with less fuel efficiency have been surplused since 2014. Some of these buses were over 25 years old, well past their depreciation period.