By Stacey Tinsley, firstname.lastname@example.org
Fourteen new, air-conditioned school buses made their debut this week.
Departing from Apollo Elementary July 30, Bossier Superintendent Mitch Downey was joined by Bossier Parish Schools Transportation Director Dave Hadden and State Senator Barrow Peacock (R-Bossier City).
Hadden said that the new, air-conditioned 77-passenger buses also come with many safety features, which will mean safer transportation for students.
“I am very excited about the new buses. These come with all sorts of safety features for our children — dual hand rails to get up on to the bus, lights when they get on the bus, three surveillance cameras, LED lights on the outside, speakers, and a noise suppression system. It’s just going to be a much safer bus for our children,” he said.
Some students spend more than an hour on the school bus. Between the constant stopping and going, doors opening and closing, it can get pretty hot. Over the years, the district has made a conscious effort to tint windows and add white roofs and vents to help cool the cab any way they can. But the dual air conditioner is maybe the biggest addition on the new buses.
“My favorite feature on the new buses is the dual air-conditioner. In the winter time, it will be the dual heating system,” said Hadden.
He also had some exciting news to share for next year.
“We have gotten tentative approval for a large grant for many buses next year,” said Hadden.
With the purchases of the new buses, which cost between $94,000 to $95,000, it brings the school bus fleet of air-conditioned buses to nearly 60 percent. This is a huge testament to the district’s transportation department and commitment from the Bossier Parish School Board.
The Press-Tribune reported in February of last year, The Bossier Parish School Board has approved adding new school buses to its fleet at a cost of $1.4 million.