In May 2017, voters in the West Bloomfield School District approved a $120 million bond issue that includes purchasing buses in two series. The first series of replacement buses includes the purchase of 30 buses this fall.
Special features of the new buses include, but are not limited to:
• High resolution interior cameras; 4 on each full size bus and 3 on special needs models
• Block heaters to be able to avoid starting diesel engines two hours early on very cold mornings and avoid excessive idling time
• Enhanced 2-way radio system
• GPS-enabled and include the ability to run vehicle diagnostics with alerts over Wi-Fi.
The new school buses will, for the first time, include four 77-passenger buses (65-passenger is the standard large-sized bus).
The four new 77-passenger buses will benefit the district in several ways:
• On large daily school transportation routes where we experience occasional overcrowding, we can alleviate this problem without adding an additional bus run because of the larger size of these four buses.
• Same concept for field trips applies to athletic and band events – we will be able to use only one bus where formerly we had to use two.
• The under-carriage storage space on the 77-passenger model provides needed space for athletic/band equipment that we currently do not have on any other buses. Storing the equipment below will enhance efficiency as well as safety.