Hi guys this is a long and boring post, but it has some pictures and Besides Miss Teen South Carolina 2007 (she's just the best I'm sure her husband won't mind me saying that and to Mr. Miss Teen South Carolina 2007 if your reading this, all I can do is give you a thumbs up!) Fun fact her and I are the same age and obviously she did a little bit better in the genetics lottery, not that I am unhealthy or anything like that mind you although my left eye isn't so good which represents a genetic deficiency, but if I was her and looked like her I wouldn't have to consider sleeping in till 3:00am a luxury, of course I can do all the supposing and ifs and buts that I want until the cows come home, but as a friend of mine said to me "Tornado if if's and buts were fruits and nuts we'd all have a happy Christmas": In your dreams and even that's a stretch. Anyhow (boy I already started off on the wrong foot) my other favorite thing about South Carolina and I've been meaning to start a thread on this is there fleet of public school buses, well used to be. I hope your all ready because I am about to drop some serious knowledge. South Carolina is the only state that owns all the school buses in the state. It's kind of a screwy system and I don't know why they did it that way, but the way it works is unlike every other state where either the school board owns the buses or they schlubbed it off to some corners cutting third party carrier um which would be indicative of a corners cutting town no shortage of those. Anyhow, the South Carolina Board of Education owns all the school buses in the State of South Carolina and distributed the buses to each school district based on how many they need give capacity and rules for how long school bus routes can be so on and so fourth. The actual law states that no pupil can ride a school bus in South Carolina for more then 90 minutes unless the geography and what not requires longer routes due to population density or what ever. Anyhow in 1995-1996 The State of South Carolina made a massive purchase of Thomas "Pushers" The State of South Carolina has in there fleet 5,582 School Buses. Now here is the kicker, the state of South Carolina passed a law saying that School buses must be phased out every 15 years. Well in 1995-1996 they made a massive purchase of buses like bought the entire fleet. They bought the same kind of bus the Thomas Pushers: The rule in South Carolina is like each county is it's own school district an the state gives each county school district the amount of school buses it deems necessary for how many route it deems that county school district should have. Anytime you guys go to South Carolina and see SOUTH CAROLINA PUBLIC SCHOOLS on the side of a school bus, that means, that school bus is owned by the South Carolina state board of education if it says GREENVILLE COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS that means that bus is not owned by the state department or board of education. Anyhow they purchased a 5,582 buses between 1995-1996 and said okay good will never have to do that again. Except the law they passed said in 15 years they would have to buy new buses, well you know how much those buses cost? The state can't afford to replace them all so they broke there own law. Now they did replace bits and pieces and certain units over the years on an individual basis, but by in large the fleet of buses went untouched for years. Actually from what I read those Thomas pushers are really not bad buses and I don't really get what the big deal is, so what there 21-22 years old, the state has the money to maintain them, it's not like that can't maintain them the news media would have you believe the buses are all duct taped together and falling apart, I don't know how this can be considering they don't have pot holes or harsh winters like we do up north, what I would do is throw out the law that is impractical and they can't fallow anyhow, and keep them all going best they can, if they get a few that don't work right and are constantly breaking down then get rid of those individual units. However it's been a huge deal in South Carolina for years now because the fleet is now way past there so called legislatures laws replacement age and it's all "Our school buses are old and economically obsolete we must get rid of them the same way Union Pacific side lined all there DD40X Centennial Locomotives that were built in the late 1960s and thrown into storage in the 1980s except in 1985 when there was a freight surge on the line and they were all pulled out of storage and thrown back into service for a little while and then permanently gotten rid of after that." It's not a freight train it's a school bus, it just does some city work I don't understand what the big deal is, keep the ones that are good get rid of the bad ones and little by little replace them. Doesn't Wilson Express the LTL company from down south send like it's 1998 generation 2 Volvo's to some works type shop to get rebuilt? The same way Sir Top-ham Hat another great leader and mover and shaker to the transportation industry (They say if Sir Top-ham Hat hadn't retired he could fix YRC) sent Henry to "The Works" to get a new fire box put on so the Great Western Railroad could save money on coal because they had to buy special Welsh coal for Henry all of which was documented in the episode "The Flying Kipper": File Photo Anyhow, back on track no pun intended I don't quiet get the problem, just replace the buses on an as needed basis, in order for them to keep up they would have to replace 383 buses a year, I don't understand where they had the influx of cash to buy almost 5,000 buses 22 years ago all at once. They say that the maintenance and fuel and other expenses costs them more money then just buying new buses and that the cost of running older equipment is getting to high and interest on a loan is cheaper then there current operating costs. Now this is still an issue for the state and while they replaced some of there buses I guess many of the Thomas Pushers are still around. The average school bus in South Carolina has 236,000 miles on the odometer?Is that a lot? The truck I drive for work has 134,000 more miles on it, of course, it's a lot newer then your average mid 1990s school bus, but school buses are built fairly tough heavy metals and what not there pretty strong machines. Part II will be another thread.