Seven new buses will soon transport students

Seven (7) new buses will soon travel the highways and back roads of Knox County transporting students to and from school and extracurricular activities.

The Knox County Board of Education entered into a resolution with the Kentucky Interlocal School Transportation Association (KISTA) during their September meeting to acquire seven (7) new buses through a lease agreement with the association.

Board chairman Dexter Smith explained during the meeting that the district has not followed a regular schedule to replace it’s aging fleet; with a regular purchase of at least five (5) buses needed each year in the following years in order to establish an on-going replacement schedule.

Smith shared with the audience that buses in the district collectively travel nearly one million miles per year, with the current fleet of seventy four (74) buses each traveling over 70,000 miles annually.

The new buses will be air conditioned and come with a five (5) year bumper-to-bumper warranty.

The warranty on the new buses will help off set existing costs that are being spent on some of the oldest buses in the fleet.  Vice-chairman Merrill Smith explained that the district has at least four (4) buses that are costing $10,000 annually in maintenance cost.

The Board has already established a restricted account that will be used to save money towards the purchase of future buses, which over time will help reduce the need to finance purchases.  During another action during the meeting the Board transferred $9,000 to the new restricted account that was received from recycling efforts during the past school year.

This is the twenty-fifth (25th) year for the KISTA school bus financing program with over 4,300 school buses being purchased by Kentucky districts through the tax-exempt financing.   The purchase will cost $788,352 for the seven (7) buses with an expected average interest rate of approximately 2.75% based on current market conditions.  This will be a fixed rate of interest over ten (10) years.

There is no estimated time of arrival for the new buses to be delivered to Knox.