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Denton ISD Purchases 79 New Buses, Begins Improvements on Existing Units

Denton ISD’s transportation department has begun significant improvements to its fleet of buses, purchasing 79 new buses while implementing safety and communications upgrades on its existing units.

The district was able to initiate this process thanks to the overwhelming support of district voters from the 2023 capital improvement referendum. The 79 new buses purchased will replace the growing number of buses the district utilizes that are more than 17 years old. Out of the 206 total buses in Denton ISD, 64 are more than 17 years old – representing 31 percent of the fleet.

The safety and communications upgrades on existing buses will enable direct radio communications between drivers, campuses, transportation dispatch, 9-1-1 and first responders through a partnership with Denton County and the City of Denton.

“The influx of new buses, along with these significant upgrades to our radio communications system, is a tremendous asset to Denton ISD, especially as we continue to grow,” said Dr. Sheryl Alden, Director of Transportation. “We are extremely grateful to the Denton ISD community for their support during last year’s bond referendum, which has allowed us to implement these meaningful additions.”

From the 2023 capital improvement referendum, the district used $11.1 million for new buses and roughly $2.1 million for safety and communications upgrades. Denton ISD also saved nearly $1 million on the installation of new radios through its partnership with Denton County and the City of Denton.

Over the next several weeks, Denton ISD will begin gradually phasing in the new buses as they become available. Each of the new buses will be equipped with additional safety features for enhanced student safety, including three-point, lap and shoulder seatbelts.

The use of seatbelts on school buses stems from state law that requires three-point seat belts to be installed on all school buses built after model year 2017. In addition, updated Texas Education Code also supports the law, requiring students who are riding a bus equipped with seatbelts to wear them.

“Ensuring that our students arrive to and from school safely remains our top priority in Denton ISD,” Dr. Alden said. “We recognize that implementing a new safety feature like seatbelts will take some time for our students and families to get accustomed with. To help ease this transition, we are asking parents to reinforce the importance of their child buckling their seatbelt, just as they would in the car.”