COLUMBIA, S.C. (WSPA)– Earlier this month more than a dozen students had to be evacuated from a Grenville County school bus after someone saw smoke. But Grenville County isn’t alone, many school districts are seeing similar issues because of older buses being in use. The SC Department of Education is requesting $50 million dollars to replace more than 500 school buses.
The state provides the school buses to the districts and maintain them. The school districts are responsible for hiring drivers and designign the routes. Majority of the buses are more than 20 years old and break down often.
Representative Wendell Gilliard of Charleston County pre-filed a bill this month that would require school districts to also provide the buses.
“With this bill statistics is definitely on my side if you think of the number of near misses, the incidents, the normal operations..it’s draining us and we have private industries just waiting saying look we can do a better job.we can put your children in a better safe position,” said Gilliard.
1 of those private companies is Durham Services, which currently hires drivers and design routes for Charleston County.
The Dept. of Education says ti costs .50 to operate an older, more problematic bus compared to .25 for a new one.