The Eden Prairie School Board approved the purchase of seven new buses at a cost of about $819,000 at its Jan. 24 meeting.
The board was asked permission to purchase the five regular education buses and two special education buses before approval of the fiscal year 2023 capital budget in order to have buses delivered before the start of the next school year.
The purchase is part of the district’s planned 15-year replacement cycle of seven new buses each year for its fleet of 104 buses and five vans.
Purchasing the buses now ensures that students will have a consistent bus number the entire year, that bus drivers will practice routes and train on a consistent vehicle, and that time is not wasted prepping older buses that will be replaced in a few months, according to background information provided to the school board.
The buses are replaced due to high mileage and increasing maintenance costs..
The district’s annual operating capital budget covers the cost of the buses, which are purchased through a state contract, so bids are not required, according to the district.
Eden Prairie Schools transports more than 8,000 students to and from school, to sporting events, and field trips every day. Buses log more than 1.25 million miles each year, according to the district.