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S. Col aces bus inspection

The South Colonie Central School District received some good news after experiencing a tough budget season when it was given a 96.3 percent passing rate on its safety inspection for the New York State Department of Transportation for the 2010-2011 school year.

There's certainly a lot to that, said Superintendent Jon Buhner. "I don't think the general public understands the amount of scrutiny that goes into it. New York State has some of the most stringent standards for public buses, which it should have. It's about the safety of the kids."

There are a 164 district transportation vehicles in South Colonie. Of those only six of the district's buses were designated to be placed out of serviced until maintenance is performed to correct the problem. According to the district, those buses are being repaired.

According to NYSDOT's web site, the buses are inspected ever six months. Buhner said the workers in the transportation department do their best to make sure the vehicles are in excellent shape for the children to ride on.

"The guys in the fleer really should be commended for their hard work," he said. "They're proud of the work they do."

The district tries to keep the buses on a 12-year cycle, though some tend to last a bit longer. Buhner said it is an impressive feat with how the roads are in this region. Buses can experience serious damage from salt and calcium build up during the harsh winter months.

"Each year we try to replace some buses," he said, adding this is done because the cost of maintaining a bus can outweigh the price of buying a new one. "At a certain point, you start replacing engines and transmissions, it get more expensive to maintain them.""

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