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On Tuesday, May 16, in addition to voting on the proposed budget for the 2023-24 school year and school board candidates, residents are also voting on a proposition to purchase three 66-passenger buses, two vans, and one large SUV at a cost not to exceed $649,982. The state will pay for approximately 80% of that cost, and the district will trade in old vehicles being replaced to reduce the purchase price of the new vehicles.
The New York State Department of Transportation regulates school buses much more strictly than it does passenger vehicles. For instance, while a family’s car must pass a New York state inspection once a year, school buses must pass more rigorous inspections twice a year. If a school bus fails one of these inspections, it must be taken off the road immediately and cannot be put back into service until it meets the state’s standards.
It costs much more to maintain an older bus to the state’s standards than it costs to maintain a new bus. By the time an old bus is retired from Broadalbin-Perth’s fleet, it will have accumulated more than 150,000 miles. District officials estimate these high-mileage buses cost B-P at least twice as much to maintain as new buses.
Between the trade-in value of the old buses and the projected savings on maintenance costs, purchasing the new buses would result in no tax increases.