• 73°

Oxford school buses to stop pickups at homes

OXFORD – Oxford school buses are no longer stopping at mailboxes but pulling up to designated bus stops inside subdivisions and neighborhoods for students in grades 5-12 in an effort to cut fuel costs.

The change began Monday as the school system is facing roughly $20,000 more per month in fuel expenses.

Pumping diesel into buses that average 8 miles per gallon is draining the budgets of local schools, forcing administrators to think about efficiency while maintaining safety.

Wayne Caldwell, transportation director for Oxford City schools, told The Anniston Star in a story Friday that picking up groups of students at one stop saves fuel and provides more time for the bus drivers to effectively activate warning lights.

“It’s not a matter of choice any more,” Caldwell said.

School officials said the subsidies the state has given the schools aren’t nearly enough. Last year, Calhoun County school officials budgeted diesel at $2.30 a gallon, which is half of the $4.60 that’s marketed today.

School officials said the system burns through 30,000 gallons of fuel each month on average.

– The Associated Press