New St. Charles buses fully-loaded

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 28, 2008


News Editor

LULING—The St. Charles School Board voted unanimously to accept a bid for six regular 66-passenger buses and one special education bus. All of the new buses will be air-conditioned.

The lowest bid for the vehicles came from Kent Mitchell Bus Sales. The amount of the bid was $554,780.

This was about $54,000 over budget—that amount being the difference between non-air-conditioned and air-conditioned buses. But the board was willing to pay the difference because it has expressed a desire to equip its entire fleet with A/C eventually. The system currently has 130 buses in its fleet.

The board also explained that these buses would be used on the longest routes. Additionally, all the new buses come with white painted roofs, which reduce energy consumption by reflecting sunlight thereby keeping the interior cooler.

Twin States also submitted a bid for the buses, but their cost for each bus was nearly $5,000 more than the cost from Kent Mitchell.

In other bus-related business, the board passed a resolution to accept a bid in the amount of $200,000 to retrofit diesel school buses with oxidation catalysts and particulate matter filters.

The bid was received from the Donaldson Company. The funding for the filters came from a grant from Valero’s St. Charles Refinery.

With the current funding, the school system will be able to retrofit 40 of the buses in its fleet.

The installation of the filters and catalysts will improve air quality in the parish by removing hydrocarbons from emissions.

The school system will continue to look for grants to fund the retrofitting of the rest of the older buses in the fleet. New buses already come equipped with filters.