New school buses coming to CCS fleet

New school buses coming to CCS fleet

By Matt Mackinder
Clarkston News Editor

INDEPENDENCE TWP. — A total of 14 new school buses for Clarkston Community Schools was approved unanimously for purchase at the Jan. 22 board of education meeting.
The buses will be purchased from Hoekstra Transportation in the amount of $2,012,318.
Wes Goodman, executive director of operations for CCS, was asked at the meeting by trustee Jaclyn Sivers to clarify the purchase and what it means for the bus routes.
“We call this a purchase agreement; it’s like a lease,” said Goodman. “We have a portion of our fleet that are coming due in June, and so this gives authorization for Hoekstra to have those buses built and ready in June or this summer. There’s a lot of lead time. When we evaluate each time, we’ve evaluated our runs to see to see how many buses we have. Do we have enough? Do we have too many? And in this situation, we are replacing 17 with 14. Out of those 14, though, the new buses that we are recommending are bigger. We have two that are 65-passenger and then the other 12 are 52-passenger. Currently, we have 30-passenger buses and 48-passenger buses, out of those 17.
“These are also all special ed buses. We’re going to have wheelchair lifts on every bus. A lot of times, we’re sending multiple buses to the same location because we just can’t put enough kids in wheelchairs on the bus. This is more efficient for our transportation department and because the buses won’t come until summer, it will be part of our summer routing program that will be ready in the fall.”
Goodman also said there may be changes to bus routes, but it won’t be due to bus changes this year.
“The bus changes will make it so we can really put more kids on the bus and prevent us from going to the same side of town with multiple small buses,” Goodman said.
Not having enough bus drivers at times is a detriment to the district, but less buses will help cushion those numbers, added Goodman.
“No one is going to lose their job because we always have openings,” Goodman said. “Certainly, with three less buses, it will be three less drivers. It’s been tough to have drivers, so that gives us an opportunity to do more with less.”

PHOTO: Clarkston Community Schools

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