LTUSD receives funds to replace diesel bus with electric

Staff Report
The district received a $330,000 grant to replace an aging bus.

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — Lake Tahoe Unified School will be replacing a diesel school bus with an electric bus thanks to a $330,000 grant.

The California Energy Commission’s School Bus Replacement Program, is helping schools throughout the state transition from old, polluting diesel school buses to electric buses, reducing children’s exposure to harmful emissions and helping the state reach its climate and air quality goals.

“We are thrilled to see further progress made toward the District’s net zero energy goals,” said Superintendent Todd Cutler in a press release.

The bus is replacing diesel bus No. 12 and has been in operation, transporting students daily, since it was received in December, 2020.

“School buses are by far the safest way for kids to get to school. But diesel-powered buses are not safe for kids’ developing lungs, which are particularly vulnerable to harmful air pollution,” said Energy Commissioner Patty Monahan in the release. “Making the transition to electric school buses that don’t emit pollution provides children and their communities with cleaner air and numerous public health benefits. The Energy Commission is proud to support this transition to protect the health of children throughout the state, something that will help all Californians breathe easier.”

Children’s developing lungs can be negatively impacted by the pollutants diesel buses emit. Scientists have found that these fine particles can cause asthma in healthy children including lung damage and asthma attacks, the press release states.

In addition to providing health benefits, switching to electric will save the district money in fuel and repair costs. The Energy Commission estimates that schools will save nearly $120,000 in fuel and maintenance costs per bus over 20 years.

The Energy Commission’s Clean Transportation Program, formerly known as the Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program, will additionally provide funding for chargers to power the buses purchased through the School Bus Replacement Program. The Clean Transportation Program will also fund workforce training and development opportunities for drivers and maintenance technicians.

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