Yukon students will be getting 15 new buses to ferry them around on field trips and school activities.
The new buses – brand new GM Microbirds – will be purchased from Dynamic Specialty Vehicles in Surrey, B.C. for $1.17 million dollars, said Education spokesperson Chris Madden. They will be delivered in March.
“Last July one of our older activity buses was in an incident. Nobody was hurt, but the incident raised safety concerns and resulted in a complete assessment of our vehicles. A total of 15 buses have been removed from the fleet,” said Madden.
That incident was a rollover on July 10, when a Department of Education bus was being used by Environment Yukon to drive kids to an environment camp. Ten students and two staff were on board when the bus overturned near Carmacks, but no one was hurt.
Environment Yukon’s youth program co-ordinator said at the time that the bus was almost brand new.
“The buses were all purchased prior to the 2010-2011 school year, and with the best information available,” said Madden.
Even so, concerns about the old buses’ structural integrity could not be ignored, and new ones were sought, said Madden. The old buses are no longer on the road, and being held at the Yukon government’s asset control unit.
Of the 15 new buses, one holds 16 passengers, while the rest hold 20 each.