The P.E.I. education department has purchased 17 school buses as part of a bulk purchase with the other Atlantic provinces through a distributor in Ontario.

In a statement, Education, Early Learning and Culture Minister Doug Currie said the buses were procured at the lowest price possible thanks to the joint-tendering process.

In addition to the conventional steel buses, two fibreglass buses were purchased from a P.E.I. distributor as part of a pilot project.

The hope is the fibreglass buses will have lower fuel costs because they weigh less, as well as fewer body repairs to fix rust or corrosion.

Currie said each fibreglass bus should save about $20,000 on fuel compared to a traditional steel bus over their lifetime.

The cost for purchasing the 19 buses is just over $2 million.

Last year, 20 new school buses were purchased.

Provincial officials say the capital budget allotment for buses is the same as it was last year, but the cost per bus has increased due to fluctuations in the U.S. dollar.