What does a school bus cost, why are they so old, and why don’t they have air-conditioning?

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The typical South Carolina school bus costs approximately $67,000, although this cost can vary depending on the size of the bus (number of seats), special equipment to serve students with disabilities (wheelchair lifts and wheelchair securement systems); and other special features (special seating for infants and toddlers). A typical school bus designed to transport students with disabilities will cost $78,000. In 2006, the State Legislature passed a law to require the fleet to be modernized and set the replacement cycle at 12 years however they have only funded the program for one year.. It will take several years to cycle all the older buses out of service.

Air conditioning is not provided because it would add approximately $10,000 to the cost of each bus. The SDE in 1992 changed the roof color of school buses to white and added a ventilation system that costs very little. This reduced the interior average summertime temperature by approximately 17 degrees.