A total of 19 new school buses have been purchased at a cost of just over $2 million, says Education, Early Learning and Culture Minister Doug Currie.
“Government continues to invest in facilities and equipment to ensure Island students can travel safely to school and benefit from a high quality learning environment,” said Minister Currie. “We will continue to try to achieve a regular replacement schedule and the new buses will be delivered in time for the next school year”
Government has purchased 17 conventional steel buses from a distributor based in Ontario through a joint tendering process. The four Atlantic provinces participate in a joint procurement for the bulk purchase of buses and the New Brunswick government took the lead in administering the tender.
“Collaboration with other Atlantic Provinces ensures we receive the lowest price on school buses and use tax payers’ dollars as efficiently as possible,” added Minister Currie.
For the remaining two buses, the department has purchased fiberglass buses as a pilot project.
The fiberglass buses are being sourced from a distributor based in Prince Edward Island. The current year cost is the same as the conventional buses, however there are potential cost-savings with reduced fuel costs due to a lower weight and also a reduced likelihood of body repairs due to rust or corrosion. Fuel costs are expected to be reduced by $20,000 over the lifetime of a fiberglass bus.
“Lighter vehicles like these fiberglass buses require less fuel therefore reducing greenhouse gas emissions on Prince Edward Island,” said Minister of Communities, Land and Environment Robert Mitchell. “As transportation is the source of our highest greenhouse gas emissions, each step we can take to reduce the impact of student transportation is a positive step towards the fight against climate change.”
With government’s commitment to safe and modern transportation for Island students, over 200 school buses have been replaced with newer models over the last seven years.