DPW accepts 10 new 84-passenger buses - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

DPW accepts 10 new 84-passenger buses

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by Krystal Paco

Guam - Department of Public Works representatives will have good news to report when they check in with lawmakers next week for their scheduled oversight hearing. Ten brand new 84-passenger school buses have been sitting on the DPW bus compound for weeks. But following good news today, may be seen roaming the streets as early as next week.

"The holdup was a protest was filed by a bidder on the procurement of the school buses and after deliberation between the bidder and GSA, GSA made a decision to allow me to accept the buses," said DPW director Carl Dominguez. And with his signature today, it's official: DPW can accept the keys and begin registering and plating - the addition bringing the school bus fleet up to 137.

Although it's not the ideal, 179 buses DPW needs, Dominguez says the extra seats are a plus, especially to cater to the island's more populated northern villages. "What that does is it allows us to pick up students without having to double back - that saves time, that saves wear and tear, that saves fuel," he explained.

The new buses were purchased through $1.28 million in Department of the Interior funding. At a price tag just under $1.2 million, Dominguez says the leftover cash will be used towards maintenance. "I'm looking forward to providing adequate bus service for the upcoming school year and I'm really pleased that not only do we have these 10 buses but that there will be more coming in in just a few short months more buses coming into the fleet," she he said.

He's referring to an additional $2 million in DOI funds also slated to pick up fleet numbers. This time, the money will go towards purchasing 60-passenger buses to retire older ones, specifically a 23-year-old school bus still used today to transport students when a life of a bus is less than half of that.

Despite all the good news, Dominguez says it won't be a cruise to the start of classes come August 19 as the island's first charter school will also need their services. "Actually I think that will climb because we are now studying the request from the Guahan Academy Charter School to provide school bus service 0219 initially it looks like we'll need several buses to be able to accommodate them," he said.

Dominguez says they've requested more information from charter school officials regarding bus stop locations and whether each of the anticipated 500 students expected to attend GACS are, in fact, bus riders.

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