By Shane Jones
Bath-DeWitt Connection Staff Reporter
BATH — The first time your child ever rode the bus to school, did you follow that bus and make every stop with it? It is quite common for some parents to do this because they are nervous about finally sending their child away to school on their own. Over the course of a school year, a bus will endure some punishment — especially here in Michigan.
Bath Community Schools has brought some improvement to the transportation of students grades K-12. For the district, there are five buses that they use on rotation, but there has been two new additions of buses.
Originally in the budget there was only going to be one bus bought for this school year and another one would be bought in next years budget. However, with the addition of the second bus this year, they will not be purchasing a new bus next year.
According to the superintendent of the Bath School District , Jake Huffman, the reason behind the purchase of the second bus is because one of their older model buses went for inspection and came back red-tagged. When a bus is red-tagged by the Michigan State Police it is said to be in unsafe conditions.
The cost to repair the bus was very expensive, so the board decided to take out the money from next years budget and spend the $82,500 for one more bus.The funding for the bus came from the general fund budget.
“We usually purchase a new bus every other year. Our oldest bus that usually does not get a lot of use, it got red-tagged for structural repairs. And we’re going to put that bus up for bid or just take it to recyclers. This new bus along with our other buses will be used for class trips, athletics, and also transportation for the schools,” Huffman said.
In a way, the rotation of buses to drivers is like a manager setting up his starting rotation for the season. Now the Bath School District has two “big-time” pitchers on there staff and there seems to be some excitement.
“The bus drivers are very excited about the new buses. We currently have five drivers and the buses change each day. There’s always excitement to keep the fleet updated,” Huffman said.