FOX19 Follow Up: Lower gas prices ease school transportation budgets - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

FOX19 Follow Up: Lower gas prices ease school transportation budgets

By Dan Wells - bio | email

FLORENCE, KY (FOX19) - The cost of gasoline affects all of us in some way.

Right now, gas is a lot less than this time last year when we were looking at $4 a gallon.

Lower prices have made the road a lot smoother for Tri-state school districts who pay millions in transportation costs.

Last year, FOX19 did a story on the high cost of diesel fuel and how it was affecting school districts.

The lower prices are now a welcome relief for school districts, who planned on paying a lot more in fuel costs.

"We have 173 buses and the price for diesel fuel is $4.20 a gallon," said Kenton County School District Transportation Director Gerald Turner last year. "We run 11,000 miles on a daily basis and its going to be a struggle for us."

When FOX19 did this fuel story a couple of months ago, the price for diesel was a lot more than regular fuel, but that has now flipped.

"We have been pleasantly surprised this school year when the prices dropped from over four dollars a gallon," said Turner. "We averaged just over $2.10 or so a gallon this school year for the price of diesel fuel."

Both Kenton and Boone counties transport thousands of students a day, five days a week on buses that only average a mere seven to eight miles to the gallon.

"We ended up last year our budget increase was $400,000 in fuel alone," said Phil Jones with Boone County Schools last year.

And this year?

"Well we have a million three and we are at the end of the school year right at nine eighty somewhere in that neighborhood," said Jones. "Obviously we have some money left and that's good to know in these times especially.

School administrators say although they were lucky in figuring out how to pay for fuel-guzzling buses and juggling the market, they still had to think outside of the box to keep any savings on the right road.

"Question mark things will be your trips, extra curricular trips and those kinds of things and actually those were down this year in anticipation of higher fuel costs and just over all budget constraints," said Jones.

So what is the plan for fuel fill-ups to come?

"You know what we are hearing for next year is that prices are going to level off and stay somewhere in the two dollars and a quarter or whatever range but we'll budget for that," said Turner.

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