TPS School Board Considering Spending $1.5M On 'Gently Used' Buses

Monday, January 5th 2015, 11:12 pm
By: News On 6

Tulsa Public Schools said its bus fleet is volatile, and many of the buses are too old to operate.

The school board must now decide whether to spend more than a million dollars to fix the problem by buying used buses.

Four TPS buses broke down Monday, and spokesperson, Chris Payne, said that is causing delays in getting kids to school, and back home.

"We're having a hard time keeping all of our buses running to service all of our routes," Payne said.

The wheels on TPS buses go 'round and 'round, rolling 2.2 million miles each year.

They're so worn out the Tulsa Public Schools school board is considering whether to direct $1.5 million from the 2010 bond to buying gently used buses.

"So fairly new buses, not brand new, but would be enough to get us through," said Payne.

Parent, April Uselton's sons sometimes ride the bus and she's concerned the buses would be used and not new.

"New ones probably wouldn't break down as often," she said.

Other parents, hearing that the district is calling its current fleet volatile, said any solution is a good one.

"I think that's very bad, I mean, honestly. I think that they need to be good and new, or at least up to date," said parent, Gayla Payne.

"This is the best solution to make sure we have safe buses for kids," Chris Payne said.

There are 15,000 TPS students that ride the district's 178 bus routes each day.

If the proposed bond passes March 3rd, the district would use bond money to buy 20 to 25 new buses each year; a solution for the future, but that won't put the brakes on the immediate issue of aging buses.

"Because that's all of our kids, that's all their lives at stake," Gayla Payne said.

The district spokesperson said he's not sure how many used buses the district would buy, or where the district would get them from.

The board will decide in two weeks.