8-13 bus fleet

Duncan Public Schools' bus fleet, including the new vehicles, is ready to go for the 2009-10 school year. DPS purchased nine route and two activity buses with bond money, and one special needs bus through a stimulus.

If you ask Gary Ferguson, transportation supervisor for Duncan Public Schools, the school district’s bus fleet is something of which the community should be proud.

“We have the best bus fleet around,” Ferguson said. “We’re real proud of what we have.”

The school district passed a bond issue in April to replace nine route buses and to purchase two activity buses. Toward the end of July, the new buses came to Duncan.

In addition to the 11 buses purchased through the bond, the school district also was able to purchase a specially equipped bus with special-education stimulus funds.

Ferguson said the bus drivers looked the buses over and were proud of the new buses that have joined the fleet.

“We’ve got to be proud of what the community has done for us,” he said.

Many of the route buses that were replaced by the new buses had between 100,000 and 150,000 miles on them. All of these buses were sold to a school district with buses that had more mileage on them.

Ferguson said the order for new buses came as soon as the bond issue was passed in April. He said the school district didn’t know if the buses would arrive in time for school to start because a lot of schools were ordering buses. But, luckily, Duncan’s buses arrived just in time.

“There are some schools that are still waiting on buses,” Ferguson said.

Before the bond issue, John Hopper, director of transportation and maintenance, was put in charge of looking at buses to gauge prices and find out what size the school district needed.

The special-needs bus wasn’t ordered at the same time as the others because it hadn’t been part of the bond. Instead, it was ordered later, which is why it didn’t arrive until the beginning of August.

With the addition of new buses and switching out of old buses, Duncan Public Schools has about 35 buses in all. This includes 20 regular route buses, the activity buses, the special-education bus, back-up buses and buses that serve as Duncan Middle School’s activity buses.

DPS buses about 1,800 students.

Ferguson said the buses are an essential part of the schools.

“You’ve got to get the kids to school to educate them,” he said. “Then, you’ve got to take them home.”

He said the bus drivers take care of the districts buses by making sure they’re clean.

“We keep them clean,” Ferguson said. “We represent Duncan wherever we go.”

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