Connecticut Awards $1.7M in VW Money for New School Buses

Emissions from the tailpipe of a school bus.
Soot coming from a school bus tailpipe. (File photo.)

Three school bus contractors that operate in Connecticut are sharing over $1.7 million in Volkswagen Mitigation Trust Funds to acquire 31 new school buses to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions from older diesel engines.

Gov. Ned Lamont announced last week that the state is making available a total of $6.2 million administered by the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) for vehicle diesel and electrification projects. The school bus awards comprised one-fifth of all projects that are being funded in part by the latest round of VW money, with the three winning contractors sharing the new purchase costs with the state.

The awards are part of a second VW fund distribution. DEEP said the third phase will focus on electrification.

Student Transportation of America received $912,070 and will add $491,114 of its own money to the cost of replacing 18 model-year 2008 diesel-powered school buses with model-year 2021 buses for its location in Naugatuck, Connecticut.

Meanwhile, First Student received $668,398, which is partial funding of an initial proposal to replace a total of 90 diesel school buses that operate at 10 locations across Connecticut. VW money officials announced last week that it will replace 12 school buses with model-year 2006 and 2007 engines with school buses that are powered by model-year 2021 diesel engines. First Student’s cost share is $359,056.

DATTCO, which began in the 1940s as a school bus provider in Berlin, Connecticut, and has since expanded into becoming a bus and service provider throughout New England, is using $112,689 to replace a model-year 2009 diesel bus with a model-year 2020 electric bus for its Middleton location. The company’s cost share is $169,268.

Eliza Barron, DATTCO’s communication and PR manager, told School Transportation News that the new electric bus will begin home-to-school service starting next school year.


Related: More Kids are Riding More New Clean Diesel School Buses
Related: Long-Term Costs Dominate Connecticut School Bus Talks
Related: University Study Claims Propane School Buses Outperform Diesel in Reducing NOx