Hillsborough Schools planning to buy 100 new buses - WFLA News Channel 8

Hillsborough Schools planning to buy 100 new buses

Posted: Updated:
It will take the Hillsborough County School Board six to eight months to take possession of 100 new buses, once the school district orders them. It will take the Hillsborough County School Board six to eight months to take possession of 100 new buses, once the school district orders them.
Superintendent Maryellen Elia met with board members at a workshop Wednesday morning to discuss the bus purchase and other transportation system issues. Superintendent Maryellen Elia met with board members at a workshop Wednesday morning to discuss the bus purchase and other transportation system issues.
It will take the Hillsborough County School Board six to eight months to take possession of 100 new buses, once the school district orders them.

This will likely take place after a June 10th board meeting. Superintendent Maryellen Elia met with board members at a workshop Wednesday morning to discuss the bus purchase and other transportation system issues.

After the meeting, Elia said the district has the money to purchase 100 new buses. Asked why school officials are waiting to order the buses, she said it's due process.

"It has to go before for a recommendation to the board and they have to be in a setting where they have advertised and have an agenda item that has been out in the public for seven days," said Elia. "June 10th is our next board meeting."

Last Wednesday, Tom Platt with School Bus Consultants presented his report to the school board, Elia, and other school officials.

"I emphasize at this point, the fleet is safe, the fleet is operating," said Platt. "But, and the big 'but' is your fleet is old."

The report shows 25 percent of the district's fleet is 15 years old. The maximum bus age should be 12 to 15 years old. Platt said there are also issues in the transportation department with maintenance and morale.

"The staffing shortages in conjunction with the aging fleet are the dominant contributing factors," said Platt.

Elia told board members 27 focus groups held throughout the county revealed a number of issues with the transportation department. Among those: equipment, repairs, facilities, communication, training, specialized transportation support, management and salary.

The superintendent says there are already changes in the works to address a number of those issues, and she's established an advisory group to get input from transportation workers on a daily basis.

School board members say they voted not to buy buses in previous years, to avoid layoffs and avoid cutting programs. Unfortunately, that coupled with the economy, was a decision that came back to haunt them.

"We are accountable because we made a conscious decision, all of us did, not to lay people off, to keep our money in the classroom, so the non business side suffered for that," said school board chairperson Carol Kurdell. "And it's obvious transportation suffered a great deal."

Copyright 2014 WFLA. All rights reserved.

  • Don't Miss ItMore>>

  • Lakeland man spray-paints garage door with message for thief

    Lakeland man spray-paints garage door with message for thief

    Saturday, July 26 2014 9:53 AM EDT2014-07-26 13:53:51 GMT
    Jerry Ashley's message spray-painted on his garage door.Jerry Ashley's message spray-painted on his garage door.
    A Lakeland man, grieving his wife’s passing, has spray-painted his garage door with a message for the thief who stole his late wife’s laptop filled with sentimental photos.
    A Lakeland man, grieving his wife’s passing, has spray-painted his garage door with a message for the thief who stole his late wife’s laptop filled with sentimental photos.
  • Pancake printers at some Alaska Airlines lounges

    Pancake printers at some Alaska Airlines lounges

    Friday, July 25 2014 6:01 PM EDT2014-07-25 22:01:24 GMT
    YouTube imageYouTube image
    When you think of airport cuisine, you probably don't think of pancakes but Alaska Airlines is looking to change that with the introduction of pancake printers.
    When you think of airport cuisine, you probably don't think of pancakes but Alaska Airlines is looking to change that with the introduction of pancake printers.
  • Restaurant Ratings Most Violations: July 14 -19

    Restaurant Ratings Most Violations: July 14 -19

    Friday, July 25 2014 5:38 PM EDT2014-07-25 21:38:43 GMT
    Ever wonder what goes on in the kitchen of your favorite restaurants? We’ve gathered details about the 30 Tampa Bay restaurants that received the most violations during inspections conducted from July 14 to 19, 2014.
    Ever wonder what goes on in the kitchen of your favorite restaurants? We’ve gathered details about the 30 Tampa Bay restaurants that received the most violations during inspections conducted from July 14 to 19, 2014.
  • Most Viewed Stories on WFLA.com

  • Sign up for WFLA News Channel 8 Email Alerts

    * denotes required fields






    Thank you for signing up! You will receive a confirmation email shortly.
Powered by WorldNow

200 South Parker Street, Tampa, FL 33606

Telephone: 813.228.8888
Fax: 813.225.2770
Email: news@wfla.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.