School bus gas bill skyrockets - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

School bus gas bill skyrockets

February 18, 2003

Albany-- Think you are paying too much for gas? Try a quarter of a million dollars. That's what it costs the Dougherty County School System each year to keep their buses running.

And that price tag is only getting larger.

"It takes 1,200 gallons of diesel fuel to keep Dougherty County's fleet up and running. That's 1,200 gallons a day," says Transportation Director Willie Griffin.

"Some of them fill up once a week, sometimes twice a week, all buses have diesel, diesel gets better fuel mileage, thankful for that."

Griffin is very thankful he gets more bang for his buck, considering he has 153 buses to keep running. "There's a concern cause definitely run over budget if price keeps escalating like its going."

Right now, the School System is getting a good deal on fuel prices-- paying between $1.14 and $1.16 per gallon. They buy it from City of Albany-- who keeps costs low by bidding out for large quantities of fuel.

But those low prices will likely not last. "It's not a locked in bid. If fuel price goes up our cost goes up too." The buses will keep right on running, while the school system figures out how to handle run away fuel costs.

Dougherty County Schools are implementing a new plan-- called Versa-Tran-- that is suppose to make bus routes more efficient. No child will have to ride the bus in the mornings more than an hour. The plan should also help keep fuel consumption down.

posted at 5:25PM by dave.miller@walb.com