KANSAS (KSNW) – As school districts prepare for the first day of school, several said that supply chain challenges are hitting hard, especially when it comes to buses.
The Communications Coordinator of Liberal Public Schools said they are now constantly searching for new transportation.
“We’re not worried about the wraps or anything. We need something that doesn’t have 100,000 miles on it. We need something that will last us for the next five to six years, and finding new buses is like finding a new vehicle. It’s become pretty hard for us,” said Tyler Parks, the Communications Coordinator for Liberal Public Schools.
The search is on. Parks said finding new or slightly used buses has become nearly impossible for them. The school opted to purchase a used bus without that classic yellow touch.
“We were able to get our hands on that bus. I mean, it’s just a plain white bus, but it will serve its purpose,” said Parks.
The school district still looking to replace at least three more buses that are past their prime.
Production on school buses continues in South Hutchinson. One local company, Collins Bus Corp., is doing all they can to get parts that have become scarce, expanding suppliers.
“So we can choose our supply that is necessary depending on the capability and the supply we needed at the time. In addition to that, we’ve also placed some of our own team members on-site at our supplier’s factories,” said Bryce Pfister, the Vice President and General Manager of Collins Bus Corp.
Another challenge is getting the buses to their final destination.
“Delivery and logistics of a finished school bus is more difficult. We’ve seen delays in delivery to our end customers,” said Pfister.
Good news Pfister said that the supply of parts is looking better for the 2023 year, and they expect to be able to push out even more buses then.