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South Bend School Board discusses new environmentally friendly buses

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- The South Bend School Corporation is trying to go green with transportation. They want to use money from this year's budget to buy safer and more environmentally friendly buses for students.

Instead of having the same buses they currently use, these buses will hopefully save the district some cash and help the environment.

“Well we are looking for us to provide a much more environmentally friendly fuel, take care of the environment, and at the same time doing some cost savings because of the reduced cost of the fuel,” says Superintendent of Schools Carole Schmidt.

Right now, there are 242 buses in the corporation fleet.

Every year they rotate out four.

Each bus is then used for twelve years.

These four new ones would be using a different type of gas than diesel fuel.

“These four buses, if we purchase them, would be propane,” says Schmidt.

Not only are they using more environmentally friendly fuel, these buses are quieter.

“The buses are much more quiet, and for safety on the bus it’s much easier for the bus drivers to keep track of the noise level of the children and so on,” says Schmidt.

Schmidt even tested them out herself.

“I actually went on one of the buses, and so did Sue, that had kids on it, and it’s amazingly quiet," says Schmidt.

This process will take two to three more months before the school board can make the purchase.

The vote on Tuesday night was to place a request for bids on the four new buses in the local media.
These bids must be received by the Office of the Transportation Department by September 30 to be considered.

From there, the school board will choose which bus option and then make their purchase.

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