Guam – Senator Tom Ada today [Friday] introduced a bill to re-program $2 million dollars from the “unreserved balance” of Highway Bond funds for use in fixing at least 20 school buses.
According to a release from the Senator’s office, Bill 473-30 (COR) would take $2 million out of the unreserved balance of the Limited Obligation Highway Bonds authorized in 1987 by Public Law 19-2.
The release says that the money could be used to refurbish as many as 20 buses as well as perform overdue preventative maintenance on at least 60 other buses.
Bill 473-30 also requests the Department of Public Works Director to exercise best management practices to ensure bus repairs and maintenance are completed no less than 120 days from the passage of Bill 473-30 (COR). Senator Ada states, “additional funding allocated towards the repair and maintenance of school buses will enable DPW to increase the school bus fleet to provide efficient and timely bus services to students.”
In order to meet the deadlines, Bill 473-30 encourages the augmentation of the school bus repairs by procuring the services of private sector maintenance businesses. Bill 473-30 (COR) identifies that the shortfall of Government of Guam school buses and traffic delays caused by highway construction have resulted in a delay of student pick-up times before and after school. Following a series of oversight hearings, the Department of Public Works indicated that the current school bus fleet includes 211 school buses; however, only 41% or 87 buses are operational. According to the DPW
Bus Operation Superintendent, 179 buses are required to provide timely bus services.
Senator Tom Ada states, “It is critical to increase the current operating bus fleet to ensure students arrive to school prior to the start of class, and reduce the time waiting at bus stops which are generally unsupervised.”
A copy of Bill 473-30 (COR) may be downloaded from the Office of Senator Tom Ada’s website (www.senatorada.org).