School board hears bleak news about bus fleet - FOX 13 News

School board hears bleak news about bus fleet

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

Hillsborough County School Board members heard some bleak numbers Wednesday about the district’s bus fleet.

Chief among them: 349 buses need to be replaced as soon as possible.

That number came from a report presented by School Bus Consultants. In the presentation, consultant Thomas Platt told board members that, on average, 24 school buses in Hillsborough County break down every single day.

"When you drive to work every morning, would you accept that your car broke down one in every 50 days? That’s the equivalent of what’s going on with the fleet right now," Platt said.

More than 100 buses are 20 years old.

"I am surprised by the number of buses that are aged in this fleet," board member April Griffin told FOX 13 News.

The recommendations are to replace the entire fleet a little bit each year for the next 15 years

The new buses still won’t hit the road for a while, according to Superintendent MaryEllen Elia.

"It takes a period of time to get those buses in, they aren't built on a dime, so we have to do as quickly as possible, get the recommendation in, get the purchase order done and get the buses in as soon as possible," Elia said.

Recommendations will be made in coming days. The superintendent tells FOX 13 there's $7 million from last year’s budget that could go towards buying new school buses. More funds could come out of this year’s budget.

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