SC receiving nearly 350 new school buses

COLUMBIA, SC (AP/WCSC) - South Carolina schools chief Mick Zais announced today the delivery of 342 new school buses that will replace buses up to 28 years old throughout the state.

The oldest buses in South Carolina's fleet carry students with disabilities. Some have logged more than half a million miles.

The new arrivals will replace all models dating from 1984 through 1987, plus a few from 1988. They include lifts and spaces for wheelchairs.

According to a distribution report, Dorchester Co. will receive 3 new buses, Berkeley Co. will get 10, Beaufort Co. will get 9, Georgetown will get 4, and Summerville will get 10. A number of the buses have already been delivered.

The report states the cost per bus is $82,030, costing a total of $28,054,260. The purchase was funded primarily through lottery funds (88%) , along with other funds.

In 2007, legislators approved replacing the statewide fleet every 15 years by buying about 380 new buses each year. But lawmakers ignored the bus replacement law amid the economic downturn.

South Carolina since bought used buses from other states by selling the skeletal remains of broken-down buses for scrap. But buying buses for special needs students wasn't an option at the auctions.

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