Guam – Senator Tom Ada sent a letter to the Governor today [Friday] asking him to petition the U.S. Department of Interior to allow GovGuam flexibility to use a $1.5 million grant to refurbish 20 school buses.
In a release, Ada argues it would be better to use $1.3 million of the funds to refurbish 30 buses, and the rest to perform long overdue preventative maintenance services on 60 other buses, rather than to purchase only 8 new buses.
The release quotes Senator Ada as saying “This flexibility would enable DPW to return twenty (20) additional buses to limited operating fleet, and would improve the reliability of sixty (60) operating buses.”
He says research indicated that a new bus will cost about $220,000; in contrast the cost for refurbishing an inoperable DPW bus will cost about $60,000.
Senator Ada adds: “The current bus shortfall and crisis is an issue that requires immediate mitigation. By refurbishing buses it will enable DPW to begin adding additional buses to its operating fleet within 90 days. In contrast, the purchase of 8 new buses could take up to 360 days before they are received.
The Senator goes onto say that: “Based on the information gathered during a recent series of oversight hearings, it was found that the school bus crisis directly resulted from the lack of a preventative maintenance program. For example, most buses have gone for as long as two (2) years without having their engine oil changed.” Ada also said, “there is no correlation between the age of a DPW bus and its availability. Poorly maintained buses will perform poorly.”