“This is a win-win situation for both of us,” said Tom Manderscheid, director of Harbor Transit. “We’re pleased to be working with the school district.”
Manderscheid estimated that Harbor Transit will save $15,000 in annual fuel costs because the school district purchases its fuel in bulk and receives a discount.
GHAPS Director of Transportation Rod Jonas said the agreement meets Snyder’s incentive requirements for cooperative ventures.
Jonas also said the school district will make some money from the venture. Previously, Harbor Transit buses were refueled at local gas stations.
“We’re going to be saving (Harbor Transit) 25 cents per gallon and that adds up,” Jonas said.
Manderscheid said the savings will especially be important when Harbor Transit begins service to Grand Haven Township early next year.
Jonas said Harbor Transit and the school district have been discussing such a venture for the past year, but talks intensified in the past few months.
Harbor Transit currently has 18 buses — including 11 that run on diesel fuel.
The pumps will be available 24 hours a day and seven days a week, according to Jonas.
Manderscheid and Jonas said Harbor Transit and the school district have worked out a refueling schedule so Harbor Transit buses can be refueled during times when the pumps won’t be used by school buses. Jonas said school buses generally are refueled right after their morning and afternoon runs.
“If a Harbor Transit bus needs fuel during our busy times, we’ll work it in,” Jonas said.
The school district normally purchases 10,000 gallons a month for school buses. Jonas said that amount will likely increase to 15,000 gallons to accommodate the city buses.