Update: New Life For Seven Old School Buses


I wrote about these buses back in January. They were supposed to be parked at the museum for just a few weeks and then be off to Haiti. The political situation in Haiti, as well as a few other bumps, got in the way. This is Claude Joseph, the fellow who organized it all, saluting as he prepares to drive the first bus away last Saturday. The buses are being moved to an Air Force base, inspected, and then will be flown to Haiti along with a few other buses acquired in the meantime. The museum director has been very patient with the process. I doubt she’ll ever let me store anything else “for a few weeks”, though.


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  1. Glen

    I hope they all pass inspection, and get back on the road in Haiti. Good job to those involved.

    • franque

      Inspection in Haiti is – does it run? If so, good enough.

  2. Ed P

    The patience of the museum director is greatly appreciated, as are the efforts of all involved. It is good to see these old workhorses going to a place where they are needed and will be appreciated.

    • streamliner

      Ed P sums it up nicely. A good story with a hopeful ending. Frustrates me somewhat that with all the waste in this country that we aren’t sending more buses, and more modern buses to represent the USA in Haiti. We sure have them here. As others have written, school buses in USA are commonly removed from service after 10 years or so. 1980-1985 buses are 31 to 36 years old. I wish we were sending more modern school buses from late 1990s or early 2000s. That said, I’m grateful to all who are doing this good work.

      • Ed P

        Thank you

  3. Fred W.

    The perfect use for buses that might have ended up in the scrapyard. In Haiti, they will do a lot of good.

  4. doug6423

    Thanks for the update. Nice to see these being reused rather than rusting away.

  5. RichS

    A very interesting film on the subject of old US school buses finding new lives is “La Camioneta” which follows the trip of a single bus into Guatemala and its transformation into commuter transportation. It’s been off and on Netflix several times.

    Trailer on youtube:

    • packrat

      I enjoyed this movie on Netflix some time back. It shows how much juice is still in our system compared to the rest of the world, that folks are waiting in droves to buy our surplus. In their world, a bus in this good a’ shape is very hard to come by, while our government considers it End Of Life. And I think you’re right: no matter what life a school bus has had, I think it’s de jure ‘had it’ at ten years. And someone elsewhere can make a living off it supporting themselves and their extended family. Somehow in Nashville the local government only surpluses a very few buses, most of which aren’t in running condition. They must have a swap deal with coach companies or middlemen of some flavor to move them in bulk.

    • Rosso

      Yah, it’s a fun film(for skoolies)

  6. John

    Great story. I, and maybe others as well, would be willing to make a gift of appreciation for their patience on such a worthy project. I didn’t see a museum named so was hoping you might share that info. I hope others might join me in making a donation also.

  7. Van

    I think they should get a custom paint job. Artistic with a world theme, maybe like rattle can graffiti and clear coat.

  8. daCabbie

    They’re going to an Air Force base to be inspected?

    What? They wanna check and make sure they aren’t loaded full of AK-47’s…. or someone p-o’ed someone in the gov’t and is getting the run around.

    Put them in containers, write scrap metal on the manifest and be done with them… about 900$ per container to Port au Prince…

    I have never had to have a vehicle going out of the country inspected… that is done on entry not exit.

    • Rosso

      They’re getting loaded on a plane, so it’s prudent to inspect them first I’d say.

  9. HeadMaster1

    I have two old buses, a “short bus” that is a 1998 Ford E-350 that is now customized, and I bought a 1994 Bluebird diesel pusher (8.3, 300hp Cummins) that I used to move my entire house full of furniture from CA to KS. I paid $1,234.56 for the Ford, and $3,051.00 for the Bluebird, which had brand new tires and automatic snow chains (on-spot they’re called), very cool. The Bluebird had to leave CA due to tighter emissions laws, forcing the school district to buy new buses…..That thing was loaded, front to back, side to side, floor to ceiling and ran 72-78mph from CA to KS, never missed a beat…..Going to make an RV out of next

  10. HeadMaster1

    Here’s my short bus, I call him “ED, the Special bus”

    • HeadMaster1

      Guess pics aren’t uploading today :-(

  11. Jumping g

    I’m glad to see them get a new lease on life. BUT I’m positive they will be stolen 2 days after being turned over….

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