ASD goes cleaner and greener with 12 new school buses on the way

Published: Jan. 8, 2020 at 3:39 PM AKST
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The Anchorage School District is looking to go cleaner and greener with a few new school buses to add to the fleet.

The 12 new buses are funded with a portion of the money the state secured through the Volkswagen emissions settlement. The Anchorage School District received about $1.5 million from the state for the buses.

"They are a type D bus which means they are are the larger buses," said ASD Senior Director of Transportation, Heather Philp. "They're rear-engine, they have a cleaner exhaust system in them."

The new buses run with Diesel Exhaust Fluid, or DEF, which helps filter particulates out of the exhaust before it exits, and the school district says, what's left is essentially water vapor.

Philp says the school district will also be saving money with these new buses, which are under warranty. "So for our cost on repairs and things like that, we're looking at probably another $50,000 in savings, roughly, on repairs and stuff, so it will be a big savings for us here in transportation."

The buses will join 35 similar buses that recently became part of ASD's fleet. "Back in the past, it was really bad, we actually had complaints that people would be sick, or that people were having issues with breathing and things like that," said Philp. "Those complaints have pretty much almost diminished at this point."

Safety is also a factor when it comes to these buses, with features like bright LED lights, higher seat backs, double stop arms, and lighter flooring. However, one particular feature sets these twelve buses apart from the rest.

"We do have a new stability control that we're putting on just these twelve buses for the first time," said Philp. "The stability control is called Bendix, and it's going to help with our inclement weather we have up here. It helps with keeping control of the bus and turns, or if they're swerving it kicks in, and it's going to be a great tool for us."

The district hopes to have the twelve new buses in operation beginning next school year.

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