INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (April 19th, 2016)-- Indianapolis Public Schools want to put seat belts on school buses. The school board approved the lease of 100 brand new propane fuel buses and all of them will have seat belts.
This is a move the district says they've been saving up for for years.
The goal is to improve efficiency for the district and safety for their students.
"So many parents have been concerned about safety of kids on school buses. We've had some high profile accidents with buses. I know everyone is safety first priority for kids," said board president, Mary Ann Sullivan.
Now the district is responding to those safety concerns. 100 new propane buses will be on the road by next school year. All of those brand new rides will include 3-point positional seat belts. Westfield based company, IMMI, is in charge of making the seats that have been proven to save lives. But riding the bus with a seat belt will be an adjustment for students.
" I think that it will be very important for the district to reach out to our families to make sure that all of the kids are aware of new expectations for them and families have those conversations with children and that the schools will be prepared for those changes," Sullivan said.
Changes the district has been preparing for financially for years.
"We have been redirecting resources for some time now in preparation for transportation. Specifically around new buses. We haven't purchased new buses since 2013," said Superintendent, Dr. Lewis Ferebee.
Superintendent Ferebee anticipates newer buses will save the district about $12 million in the long run, with fewer maintenance and gas fees.
"So our tax payers can be very confident that we are being fiscally prudent with this decision and like I said earlier
It's going to head safety, it's more environmental friendly," Ferebee said.
This move is part of a much larger vision to study school start times to make bus routes more efficient. But that wouldn't take place until 2017 when the district also hopes to have 200 more new buses with seat belts as well.