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Posted on Sep 10, 2015

Aging bus fleet may expand

Quincy School District transportation director Rob Henne wants to add two new 84-passenger route buses to the district’s aging fleet.
Henne on Tuesday took the district’s board of directors on a tour of four types of buses. The hands-on approach allowed him to explain why he is looking to add two new buses with higher price options. The district put on 643,000 miles last school year.
“That’s why we need new buses,” Henne said.
Henne said the buses need air ride suspension and the rear engine options. He took a trip to Othello and rode on a new bus with the engine-forward design and it was very bumpy, he said. With Quincy’s rural roads, the air ride and rear-engine are much needed, he said.
“You need that air ride on your buses so it won’t get beat around,” he said. “Our country roads are horrible. There are some so bad, even with air ride, you can only go 30 miles per hour.”
And the options are a more comfortable ride for their passengers, he added.
“On a rear-engine bus you have more leg room and some of our kids are on the bus well over an hour,” Henne said.
The Thomas route buses will cost $128,000 each. The state reimburses the district $109,000 a bus over a 13-year depreciation schedule.


— By Kurtis J. Wood