School buses stand at the ready in the Sooke School District yard off Jacklin Road behind the SD62 offices.

School District 62 to add four vehicles to bus fleet

Average cost equates to more than $170,000 per bus

Sooke School District has four new buses coming to its fleet.

The SD62 board of education voted unanimously last week to spend $684,772 on the new vehicles, which will bring the total number of buses in the fleet to 38.

“Student population for ridership has definitely impacted the busing services,” said Trustee Denise Riley, “so we have to have additional buses to service all the students in the district.”

Three of the four will be servicing the West Shore, with the fourth to be used on runs in the Sooke area. There are a total of 29 routes throughout the district, separated into the Belmont (including Royal Bay) and the Sooke zones.

The extra buses will give the district a larger reserve of vehicles from which to draw for to-and-from school transportation and field trips.

“We had four or five additional buses (available) to do field trips during the day,” said district secretary-treasurer Harold Cull, adding that mechanical breakdowns or other emergencies could sometimes leave just one extra bus. “(That) is too few buses to be able to have a reserve.”

The new 84-seat, rear-engine buses are expected to arrive prior to March 31 and are being paid for by the Ministry of Education.

alim@goldstreamgazette.com