Hybrid school buses getting mixed reviews

By: Maisie Insko Email
By: Maisie Insko Email

T.O. Elliott says Whitley County became interested in a hybrid school bus after they found out other school systems were purchasing them with the help of a state grant.

"My superintendent wanted to get in on it as well so we applied for the grant and we was one of the schools to get it and that is why we purchased it." Elliott says.

So in October of 2010, Whitley County Schools put their first electric bus on the road.

"This bus traveled about 10,000 miles last year and of course we have routes that do more than that some of the routes travel 15,000 miles but this one happens to be ten thousand." says Elliott.

Although Elliott has not had problems out of the fuel efficient bus he says he still is not a fan of the vehicle.

"You know that bus is about one hundred and thirty thousand dollars opposed to buying one for eighty thousand dollars if you buy a straight bus."

But Elliott thinks a city terrain may allow the hybrid bus to be more efficient than it seems to be in the mountains.

"With this particular route you know some of our stops are maybe two or three miles apart, if we had stops where you just stop and start it may perform better than it is right now." he adds.

Elliott says he also fears the expensive bus will lose its popularity when the grant money runs up and schools districts are left to pay for the buses out of their own pocket.

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