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AZ Senate passes bill that would make vans an alternative to school buses

As expected, the GOP-led Arizona Senate has passed a nearly partisan  billthat will allow passenger vans to be used as a possible alternative to school buses to transport students. Due to revisions, that bill now heads back to the House.

Opponents like Democratic Sen. Christine Marsh say the concern is that these 10-15 passenger vehicles are prone to rollover.

“There are safety concerns with doing this. It goes against what the National Transportation Board suggests. It goes against the insurance trust here in Arizona," Marsh said.

But proponents say these vans will be overseen by the same safety department that oversees school buses, and it will give rural areas transportation flexibility when full-size school buses don’t make sense.

Jill Ryan joined KJZZ in 2020 as a morning reporter, and she is currently a field correspondent and Morning Edition producer.