TONKA NEWS

Modernized buses save money

The+buses+are+lined+up+for+dismissal+ready+to+take+students+home+on+Sept.+27.
The buses are lined up for dismissal ready to take students home on Sept. 27.

The buses are lined up for dismissal ready to take students home on Sept. 27.

Kaitlyn Minet

Kaitlyn Minet

The buses are lined up for dismissal ready to take students home on Sept. 27.


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Bus riders returning to school this year likely noticed the new, modern look of their air-conditioned ride. But they probably did not know that they were also riding in a “green” bus. The entire NCKSD bus fleet was replaced during summer vacation with more modernized and energy-efficient versions that will also save the school district money.

The transportation services, including the director of transportation, Lonnie Waterman, committed their time to many meetings to insure the students had no interruptions during the school year.

“As one can imagine turning over a new fleet of buses is a giant undertaking with an enormous amount of time given to replace the old diesel buses with CNG while insuring any transportation service to our students is never disrupted,” Waterman said. ”The entire summer was dedicated to this task including evenings and weekends.”

According to Waterman, the modernized buses provide many benefits.

“The compressed natural gas buses are significantly more efficient both in miles per gallon as well as cost per gallon and maintenance cost,” Waterman said.

Waterman said renovations are always necessary to benefit the school district’s expenses as well as the students who ride the buses.

“I believe anytime an organization can reduce their overall operating cost, provide a cleaner mode of transportation while decreasing their carbon footprint this is positive for students,” Waterman said.

Additionally, Transportation received two awards for safety on Sept. 13: The “Total Fleet Excellence Award” from the Missouri State Highway Patrol for a Safety inspection score of 90% or better. NKCSD was 97.4 percent. And, they received the “Exemplary School Bus Maintenance Award” for 20 consecutive years of a safety score of 90% or better from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

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Modernized buses save money