With the big financial boost from the federal government, school districts around the country are receiving new electric buses to transport their students, reported ABC News.
According to the news article, research has shown that electric vehicles are better not only for the environment but also for children’s health. Electric school buses are reportedly also quieter and devoid of the black smoke and diesel fumes.
As part of a new program, the Clean School Bus Program, funded by the 2021 Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is awarding $5 billion over five years to school districts nationwide to help them transition to environmentally cleaner vehicles, primarily those powered by electric engines.
The EPA already awarded $948.8 to 403 districts in all 50 states as well as Washington D.C. and several other territories and tribes for the year-one rebate program.
The news article states that the shift is already on display in suburban Maryland, where the public school system in Montgomery County began transitioning its fleet of more than 1,400 buses.
Superintendent Dr. Monifa McKnight stated via the article that Montgomery County has a climate action plan that is very progressive, and the school system should be a part of that.
The aim is switching to electric-powered buses that will help the system achieve its goal of reducing its greenhouse gas emission by 80 percent by 2027 and by 100 percent by 2035.
EPA Administrator Michael Regan told news reporters that by removing diesel emissions, it is anticipating seeing the health implications, while also reducing the exacerbation that the agency has seen from transportation on climate change and global warming.
A driver for Montgomery County, Sheila Martinez, reportedly stated that she loves driving an electric bus as it’s quieter, smoother and has both a air conditioner and heater that work perfectly.
Some school districts who do not own their own buses and contract out its transportation, reportedly have trouble getting federal dollars due to a government requirement.
Reagan reportedly said that the EPA’s top priority is to take dirty diesel buses and ensure that they do not go from one school district to another.
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