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Fairbanks school district to receive new fleet of buses

Published: Feb. 25, 2021 at 4:07 PM AKST
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - Keep an eye out on the road as a new fleet of school buses, filled with updated safety features will be coming to Fairbanks.

“The contract currently has an outdated fleet for the most part, so having the new buses here is a much safer environment,” said Dave Stevens, Integration Manager with Durham School Services.

Last year Durham School Services was awarded a 10 year school bus contract for the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District, and is introducing a new fleet of buses to serve district affiliated schools.

Stevens, Integration Manager with Durham gave a tour of the first two new school buses to be brought to Fairbanks. He said they have “coordinated with the Alaska State Police for inspection, make sure they’re all meeting specs. Those two came into Anchorage a couple weeks ago, were inspected, and now they’re here.”

Once the fleet is fully gathered it will consist of 143 new school buses. According to Stevens these buses will introduce a variety of new technologies and safety features to the district. “We’ve got Zonar which is a GPS and inspection device. The drivers are able to do pre-trip [and] post-trip child check inspections on the bus.”

This device ties into a phone application called Durham Bus Tracker. Parents can use this app to keep track of bus locations so students don’t need to wait in the cold at bus stops.

“We’ve got the Drivecam system which monitors the driver and where the bus is going, so it’s outward facing and inward facing. From there we’re able to coach the drivers,” said Stevens.

45 of these newly equipped buses will be stored in North Pole, while the remaining fleet will find a new home in the heated garages of Durham School Services in Fairbanks.

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