Five Things to Look for When Buying a School Bus for Your School

Purchasing a school bus is a significant decision that impacts the daily operations of your school as well as the safety of your students. Selecting the right bus requires careful consideration of several key factors to ensure you make an informed decision.

Here are five essential things to look for when buying a school bus for your school.

Safety Features

The safety of your students is paramount, and the school bus you choose should include the latest safety features. This includes seat belts that comply with federal and state regulations, reinforced sidewalls, and a sturdy frame. Advanced safety technologies such as anti-lock braking systems (ABS) and electronic stability control (ESC) can provide additional protection by enhancing the vehicle's handling and stability. Also, buses with enhanced visibility features like large mirrors and backup cameras should be considered to aid drivers in maintaining awareness of their surroundings.

Size and Capacity

Assessing the bus's size and capacity is crucial. Determine the number of students who need transportation to ensure the bus can comfortably accommodate everyone. Consider future growth when deciding on capacity, as having extra space can be beneficial for accommodating larger groups or unexpected additions to the student body.

Fuel Efficiency and Environmental Impact

With increasing awareness of environmental sustainability, choosing a school bus with efficient fuel consumption and lower emissions is more important than ever. Opt for buses that operate on alternative fuels such as propane, compressed natural gas (CNG), or electricity. These options not only reduce the vehicle's carbon footprint but often result in cost savings over time through reduced fuel consumption and maintenance expenses.

Reliability and Maintenance

The reliability of a school bus is critical to ensuring it is operational when needed. Research the bus manufacturer’s reputation for producing durable, long-lasting vehicles. Check reviews and ratings from other school districts that have purchased similar models. Additionally, consider the availability of service centers and parts for the bus in your locality. A bus that requires frequent repairs or has hard-to-find parts can disrupt your transportation schedule and incur additional costs.

Cost and Financing

While the initial purchase price is important, it's also essential to consider the total cost of ownership over the bus’s lifespan. This includes fuel costs, maintenance, insurance, and any potential upgrades. Explore financing options that may be available, such as grants or special funding programs for educational institutions. Assessing both the immediate and long-term financial commitment will help you choose a bus that fits within your budget while meeting all your functional and operational needs.

Contact a dealer to learn more about school bus sales.