DARE CO.--A law passed in the most recent session of the North Carolina General Assembly means older school buses will be on the roads longer.
The legislation pushes back the threshold when school buses are eligible to be replaced.
Under the old guidelines, a bus would be replaced after it hit 200,000 miles or was 20 years old.
The new law states that school systems have to wait until a bus hits 250,000 miles before replacing it. The law also states that buses less than 15 years old must be on the road for 300,000 miles before they're eligible to be replaced.
For Dare County, the new rules means buses in the system will be on the road much longer.
"Being a small, rural county like we are in Dare County, it's probably gonna replace the riders--or the buses--for Dare County another two to three more years before they get replaced," said David Twiddy, Transportation Director for Dare County Public Schools.
Twiddy said driving the same buses longer will come with extra costs.
One major problem with driving buses longer is their warranty expires, which means the school system will have to pay for major repairs out of pocket. He estimates the school system will spend, on average, an extra $1,500 per bus going forward.
"The cost of replacing or repairing these buses is gonna see a significant change," Twiddy said. "We're gonna see more money into parts and labor than we've ever seen before."