Consultant: Buses are safe, but fleet is very old

Hillsborough County, Florida -- "The fleet is safe. The fleet is operating but, the big but, is that your fleet is old," says consultant Tom Platt.

It's good news for the Hillsborough County School Board Wednesday morning after hearing straight from the consultant's mouth that the bus fleet is not dangerous for your child to ride but, like he said, there's a huge but.

"2.2% of the buses are breaking down," says Platt.

Since 2006, the school district has bought a total of 36 new buses and Tom Platt says this is the outcome.

"If you drive to work every morning, would you accept breaking down 1 out of every 10 days? That's equivalent to what's going on with the fleet," says Platt.

"We need to buy buses," says Superintendent Mary Ellen Elia.

Superintendent Elia says twice this past year the school board turned down recommendations to buy new buses.

"They were flawed recommendations," says Hillsborough County School Board member April Griffin.

The consultant says 349 units in the fleet need to be purchased now and 193 more next year.

"We will be purchasing a large number of buses in a short amount of time," says Elia.

Consultant documents can be viewed below:

Transportation Improvement Plan Progress Report

Bus Fleet Renewal Requirements Analysis & Planning


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