NICEVILLE, Fla. (WKRG) — The Okaloosa County School District has 60 state-of-the-art busses ready for the start of school on Aug. 10.

Superintendent Marcus Chambers said OCSD previously had the oldest bus fleet in the state. A bus replacement program was put into place last year with a three-year plan to change that statistic.

“Almost half of our fleet has already been replaced at the end of this year in a three-year period, so having a bus replacement program I think is vital,” said Chambers.

OCSD has 180 school buses currently and will purchase 15 more this academic year to make a total of 195. Chambers said old buses are kept or salvaged for other use.

“We’ve purchased 60 new school buses, so those are school buses with air conditioning, school buses with the latest safety features, seatbelts and so forth.”

With the rising fuel costs for everyday travel, WKRG News 5 asked Chambers about how the budget works with fueling so many busses.

“Fuel, especially over the last number of months has been going up and up throughout this pandemic. Fuel has gone up. Luckily lately it’s starting to come down a little bit,” said Chambers. “We budget for that accordingly so we know what our past fuel costs were. Our Chief Financial Officer always puts a factor in there to make sure that we account for what the increase in fuel prices could be for the upcoming school year.”

Bus Route Information

Chambers said OCSD has many ways for parents to keep track of bus schedules and follow real-time changes.

“This year we have a bus app so parents can know whether their kids bus is on time, whether it’s delayed,” said Chambers. “It provides parents real-time information in terms of is their child bus on time. So also gives parents peace of mind.”

OCSD is hiring drivers and mechanics for the bus fleet for the 2022-23 school year. Positions are available in Crestview, Niceville and Fort Walton Beach.

Sign-On Bonus After Hired – $500
After 94 Days – $300
After 187 Days – $500
Total: $1300