60% of School Buses Inoperable; Students Experiencing 2 Hour Delays; Senator Ada Appeals to Governor for Help

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Guam – Public Works Committee Chairman Senator Tom Ada has written to Governor Felix Camacho to call attention to the public school bus crisis that has left 60% of the fleet inoperable.

Following an Oversight Hearing held Friday evening Senator Ada reports that only 40% of DPW’s 211 buses are operational. And as a result, school children are facing delays of up to 2 hours before and after their scheduled pickup times.

In his letter to the Governor, Senator Ada details the hearings findings and suggests possible solutions.

Read Senator Ada’s letter to Governor Camacho

Among the key points from the hearing are:

* 88 buses are “not economically repairable”

* 36 additional buses are awaiting repairs

* DPW has a fleet of only 87 buses in operation.

DPW officials say they can get students to class on time with 123 buses, but with only 87 functioning, students are getting picked up late, and the traffic congestion is “making it impossible for a bus driver to make multiple runs within the allotted pick up schedule.”

The Senator has suggested to the Governor that:

* procurements for needed parts to repair the buses be expedited.

* maintenence should be outsourced

* and he suggests that DPW’s school bus fleet can be augmented by temporarily leasing buses from private companies on island.

Ada concludes that he hope the Governor “will act on this matter with urgency …We must not allow our school children to continue being exposed to the security risks, loss of precious time and extended exposure to inclement weather associated with the long delays in pick ups from their bus stops.”