School Transportation News issued a call for nominations for the Green Bus Summit Fleet Awards, seeking school districts and bus contractors that are stepping into the future of clean fuel and energy for their fleets, and the industry delivered.
On Sunday during the Green Bus Summit at STN EXPO Reno, School Transportation News Publisher Tony Corpin announced five fleets that stood out for their goal to reduce emissions.
Four school districts and a national school bus contractor were honored for their adoption of alternative fuel and energy. STN chose the recipients in affiliation with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, a part of the U.S. Department of Energy, out of 48 nominations submitted this spring. The fleets were judged based on emissions reductions realized, impact on the local community, measured student and driver health improvements, and the commitment to purchasing green buses going forward.
The winner of the Large Public Fleet category was Los Angeles Unified School District in California for its adoption of CNG, propane and, most recently, electric school buses. The district piloted the first ESB in 2018. In March, it announced the latest purchase of 10 Lion Electric buses.
“We’re very appreciative of STN for the award and [charging infrastructure vendor] Nuvve for nominating LAUSD, thankfully given our direction received from our board and the leadership of our new superintendent,” said Daniel Kang, the deputy director of transportation for LASUD. “We are able to try new things and venture, and all the while we want to evolve school transportation to make it cleaner and safe for our children. And give them a learning environment so that they can thrive. We are excited to be at this conference and knowing that this is not necessarily a race, but a collaboration with all of our districts in our nation and our vendor partners as well.”
Large Private Fleet was awarded to contractor Student Transportation of America. And Kansas City Public Schools in Missouri took the title of Medium Public Fleet.
The Small Public Fleet Award went to Salt Lake City Public Schools in Utah. The district has eight electric school buses.
“It brings a lot back that I can take to our board and our business administrator and they can share with our public, that we’re doing good things and being recognized for it,” said Transportation Manager Ken Martinez. “Not only just within in our state, but at a national level and it’s going to help bring support to a program we already have full support in, so it strengthens the desire to continue in this direction to make it a very successful project.”
Last, but not least, the Rural District Under 50 Buses Category was awarded to Three Rivers Community Schools in Michigan.
“Truly honored that an organization like School Transportation News and my peers from all over the nation chose to recognize Three Rivers Community Schools for their objectives and initiatives in promoting clean energy and zero emissions,” said Transportation Director Kenni Jean Schrader, whose operation uses two ESBs. “I am looking forward to seeing what we can do as partnerships in the future.”
Ryan Gray, STN editor-in-chief, said the four school districts and one school bus contractor stood out because of their ongoing commitment to going green.
“All the nominees deserve congratulations for leading the way toward a zero-emissions future,” said Gray in a statement on Sunday. “It was a difficult decision to narrow the list down to only five winners. We look forward to telling all of these compelling stories and more, as the number of student transportation operations that operate green school buses grows in the coming years.”