Students get a cool ride -, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Students get a cool ride

May 14, 2003

Albany-- Most Dougherty County School Buses will be air conditioned by next Summer when the new school year begins. Three of the new air conditioned buses are on the road now.

Students piling onto one of the new air conditioned buses at Jackson Heights Elementary don't sweat it anymore on the way home.

Third grader Julius Brown said "Before we had air conditioning we was really hot. We was sweating. And we were really hot."

Now how does it feel to you? "It feels great."

Quetta Hunt has been driving school buses almost 20 years. She thinks the air conditioner will improve their lives. "Great, great. For my kids and myself, cause it was hot."

Trans-air from Fort Valley is installing the air conditioning units in all the newer Dougherty County buses. One-hundred-twenty will be air conditioned when the new school year starts August 5th.

School officials think the cooled buses will help in several ways. Fleet Manager Rick Wheeler said "The routes are long now, we're running all over town. We think it's going to help a lot. It will certainly be a lot more comfortable, drivers and kids. Help with discipline problems too."

Dougherty County is paying $656,000 to air condition the buses. The advanced air conditioners will not decrease the gas mileage of the buses, but are powerful.

Wheeler said "We set one of these out in the sun yesterday and just let it sit there and idle. And it was so cold you needed a jacket when you got on it. It was cold, it really works great."

The kids on Bus 197 agree. Miranda Seymore said "It feels nice."

And Sequoia Bradford said "Because you can feel better even you're tired after school." And that makes for a cool ride. Dougherty County transports 13,500 students a day in their bus fleet.

All the new buses the county buys now will have air conditioning factory installed.

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