Many Central Valley school districts transitioning to electric buses

A pair of new electric school buses are ready to pick up and drop off students in Central Unified.

Both will help save money on transportation cost and improve air quality since gas or diesel will no longer be used.

"It is going to provide for a quieter ride for our kids. And also it will clean up our air in and around our schools and especially at the bus stops," said Andrew Alvarado, Central Unified Superintendent.

Each bus has the capacity for 71 passengers and can travel over 100 miles on a charge of four to eight hours.

Superintendent Alvarado worked with Central Unified School District leaders on applying for a grant through Fresno County's Measure C.

"We take a lot of pride in creating sustainable earth for our children and their future and so if we can expand our fleet that is definitely something we are interested in looking into," he said.

In the past year other Central Valley school districts have switched to busses that are friendlier to the environment thanks for Measure C.

Kings Canyon Unified School District has over 30 school buses that use natural gas instead of diesel.

Right now the $1.1 million grant is helping schools in Fresno County but the Valley Air District has another grant available for schools throughout Central California.

"This past October we released our own grant program where we will provide funds up to four hundred thousand for school districts to able to scrap and replace their preexisting school buses for an all-electric school bus," said Cassandra Melching, Valley Air District.

She also pointed out the Valley Air District also has a grant that pays for busses that use natural gas.
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