Senator Kristin Corrado’s legislation addressing the dearth of availability of new school buses was advanced by the Senate Transportation Committee.
Sen. Kristin Corrado’s legislation addressing the dearth of availability of new school buses was advanced by the Senate Transportation Committee. (SenateNJ.com)
Corrado’s bill, S-2593, extends the statutory service life of school buses by one year, providing relief for school districts and transportation companies scrambling to find replacements.
“Like so many other products, there is a shortage of new buses due to the pandemic and supply chain issues,” said Corrado (R-40). “The price of buses and bus parts have skyrocketed, as well. This bill would provide a respite, allowing safe vehicles to remain in service a little longer and providing time for the supply to catch up with demand.”
School buses manufactured since 2007 can remain in service until the end of the school in June, 20 years after the date of manufacture. Vehicles produced between April 1977 and January 2007 have a 15-year service life.
The bill adds one year of service to each class, and grants the chief of the New Jersey Motor Vehicles Commission the authority to provide additional service life extensions, if necessary, until the 2024-2025 school year.
“We can transport children safely without creating an avoidable crisis,” said Corrado. “If the buses are safe, well-maintained and suitable for transporting students, there’s no reason to rush them out of service when replacements are difficult, if not impossible, to come by.”