The School District has also explored the option of implementing hybrid buses. However, these vehicles can cost close to three hundred thousand dollars. This is an almost two hundred thousand dollar price increase from standard buses. Furthermore, explains D'Angelo, "the fuel efficiency [of hybrid vehicles] isn't all that much better" than that of regular buses. D'Angelo's research found that hybrid buses have a fuel efficiency of about four to five miles per gallon more than regular buses. The money saved on fuel wouldn't nearly make up for the price increase of the vehicle itself.
At this time, it seems that the best option is to continue to utilize the vehicles that are currently in operation. To save on gas, D'Angelo explains that more athletic games and scrimmages are being scheduled with teams located in towns near to Skaneateles. Field trips are planned in areas close by, and alternative field trip options have been explored. With access to the internet in schools, one option includes virtual field trips, available online.
The School District makes two separate bus trips each morning and afternoon to pick-up and drop-off students. D'Angelo admits that some days partially-full buses make it seem like there might be a more economical option, such as a single run with a full bus. However, the reality of the situation is that more buses would be needed for a single-trip option to be possible. "You've got to allocate your run," he explains, "assuming every kid that could get on that bus would get on that bus." While some days buses do have open spaces, it is often due to student absences. In order to ensure that each student has a ride to and from school, there must be enough seats available to hold everyone, every day.
Instead, D'Angelo explains, "We try to keep bus rides in and out as short as possible," to ensure the cost-efficiency of the busing system.