The Columbia County school board recently shelled out some green to add some yellow.
In a February meeting, the board bought eight new school buses - seven 66-passenger buses and one 48-passenger - from low bidder Nalley Motor Trucks for $560,436.
The expenditure was a cost-saving measure, said Dewayne Porter, the director of transportation for the system.
"The new buses are more efficient with fuel and fuel is a big consideration now," he said. "Some of our old buses get maybe 4 to 5 miles per gallon. The new ones are getting between nine to 10 miles per gallon."
Bought to replace older buses in the fleet, the new buses also save on maintenance costs, Porter said.
All of the new buses come with a five-year, 100,000-mile warranty, he said.
State money recently allocated by Gov. Sonny Perdue might pay for a portion of the buses, Assistant Superintendent Sandra Carraway said. Otherwise, the purchase will be paid with 1-cent sales tax funds.
Eight older buses will be replaced, but they won't be disposed of right away, Porter said.
The system's ever-growing student enrollment might force some buses out of retirement.
"If the growth hits us and we have to keep some of the older buses on the road, then that's what we'll do to take up that slack," Porter said.
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