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Sun, Nov. 17

HUSD upgrades its bus fleet
School district phases out three 18+-year-old buses

The Humboldt Unified School District Governing Board approved upgrading its bus fleet at its January meeting.
Photo by Jason Wheeler.

The Humboldt Unified School District Governing Board approved upgrading its bus fleet at its January meeting.

Part of the obsolete equipment the Humboldt Unified School District administration sought to dispose of were three school buses, said HUSD Financial Adviser Cynthia Windham. These buses included Bus 89-2, Bus 99-2 and Bus 99-5, she said.

“Each of these buses have mileage in excess of 300,000 miles and has been in service for 28 years and 18 years respectively. These vehicles were identified as needing replacement during a recent capital planning meeting,” Windham said. “The district has authorized the purchase of three new school buses: one 30-passenger conventional school bus, equipped with a wheelchair left, and two 84-passenger front-end transit-style school buses.”

The replacement buses are 2018 buses, said Transportation Director Kenneth Fox.

The method of trade-in for disposing the old buses and purchasing the new buses was deemed the most advantageous for the school district, she said.

Initially, there was a concern about the trade-in value of the buses as opposed to a private sale, said Board Member Brian Letendre, noting vintage school buses hold value to the exploring community as they convert them into small motorhomes. He had spoken with Windham prior to the meeting and it was determined a private sale would be more of a hassle than it’s worth and the vehicles would not be sold for the value they could get via trade-in, Letendre said.

Letendre said he appreciates the trade-in is with Canyon State Bus Sales, the company they are also purchasing from.

“They’ll tend to help you out when they can,” he said. “They know the district, they work well with us.”

The difference from the trade-in will be made up by funds from the capital budget, Windham said, noting the district has some reserves.

“We’ve been analyzing the various requirements and then each semester we look at or look on annual basis of where our most pressing needs are and so, in this case, we had three buses that we would go ahead and expend out the capital reserve,” she said.

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