ST. MARYS — There is a new bus No. 20 in town.
With the trade-in of an old bus and the purchase of a new one, the St. Marys City Schools’ school bus fleet has gained a new member.
On Thursday, Cardinal Bus Sales and Service dropped off a new school bus and picked up an older bus. It was a trade of bus No. 20 with a new bus No. 20.
“We should have it on the road by early next week,” Transportation Supervisor Dan Grothause said. “Tuesday may be its first trip.”
The new bus will need to be inspected by the Ohio State Highway Patrol before it is allowed on the road.
“For the remainder of the year, it’s going to be a trip bus,” Grothause said.
“For now, we’ll just take the older one off the route and put the new one on. It’ll be used regularly next school year.”
The new bus No. 20 is more than 40-feet long and can hold 84 passengers — which is more than the older bus.
“We’ll continue to get 84s,” Grothause said. “Not only is it more economical, but it’s a larger capacity.”
St. Marys Interim Superintendent Jerry Skiver noted the increased capacity is important with the higher number of students taking a bus to school.
“As the number of kids being transported grow, we really need to increase the capacity,” Skiver said.
“Seventy percent of our students are riding buses, which is very high.”
The bus will bring the district’s fleet total to 26, and Grothause noted one of the aspects of the new bus, which is not available on the other older buses.
“It was manufactured after the 2010 emission year and utilizes diesel exhaust fluid, which means it reduces the nitrous oxide emissions coming out of the engine,” Grothause said. “So the air coming out of the exhaust pipes is cleaner than the air coming in.”
Skiver noted they were “fortunate to have the PI dollars to do this,” and they hope to get back on a regular bus replacement rotation.
“We were on a 2-1, 2-1, 2-1 replacement, basically the buses would have a 14- year cycle,” Grothause said.
“Because of financial restraints, that stopped.”
The replacement started again this year with the bus the district received on Thursday and with another bus they are expected to receive later this year.
“They will be delivering another bus in August or September,” Skiver said.
The bus the district traded in was manufactured in 1994.