ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Albuquerque Public Schools are in desperate need of school buses and more places to house them. They’re going to the polls to fix one of those problems — and for the other, they’re getting some help from the state.
“APS runs 39,000 miles a day in bus routes,” said APS Chief Operations Officer Scott Elder.
The district said the state’s Public Education Department has been slow on replacing dozens of school buses, especially after picking up the slack in the East Mountains area where bus contractors have left, but now things are looking up.
APS said it will soon get at least 27 new buses paid for by grants from the PED, along with almost 100 more buses later on from a different settlement with Volkswagon. This is one small part of the district’s overall need to improve its transportation department.
“We can move the buses closer to where the students are, which reduces miles run, reduces preventative maintenance, reduces gasoline, and reduces salary because drivers spend less time in the buses,” said Elder.
Another part of their wish list is to build three new bus depots around town. That is part of a bond issue this November. The district said if voters say ‘yes’ to build those depots, it could save up to $2 million a year in gas, maintenance, and salary costs.
APS is looking to set up those depots in the west, South Valley and East Mountain parts of the district where it lacks depots. If voters say ‘yes’ to continue that bond in November, it would bring in nearly $18 million dollars of funding to build those three depots.