U.S. Senator Kamala D. Harris (D-CA) introduced the Clean School Bus Act -- the most money EVER proposed for bus electrification. Green For All is proud to support this legislation, which would help schools serving low-income neighborhoods make the down payment to transition from dirty diesel buses to zero-emission electric buses, and give kids a clean, safe ride to school.
Every day, more than 25 million children and thousands of school bus drivers breathe polluted air on their commute to school, which can have a negative impact of student health and attendance, particularly for students with asthma and other respiratory conditions. School buses, which make up roughly 90 percent of the nation’s bus fleet and are the nation’s largest form of mass transit, traveled roughly 3.3 billion miles in 2017. A recent study indicated that reduced exposure to air pollution from school buses can result in student test gains in math and English. Electric buses not only reduce dangerous air pollution for those riding a school bus but also for the local community and cars driving behind a school bus while simultaneously reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Specifically, the Clean School Bus Act will:
- Provide grants of up to $2 million to replace diesel school buses with electric school buses, invest in charging infrastructure, and support workforce development.
- Give priority to applications that serve lower-income students, replace the most polluting buses, and leverage the funding to further decrease pollution and emissions, including through partnerships with local utilities.
- Authorize $1 billion over five years at the Department of Energy to fund a Clean School Bus Grant Program to spur increased adoption of this clean technology.
Green For All national Director Michelle Romero shares her thoughts on the bill:
“Tailpipe emissions are not only a climate issue, they are a major health and safety issue for our children, especially in low-income neighborhoods and communities of color where they are disproportionately exposed. It’s hard to learn if you can’t breathe. That’s why Green For All is proud to support Senator Harris’s Clean School Bus Act. The legislation would help schools serving low-income neighborhoods make the down payment to transition from dirty diesel buses to zero-emission electric buses, and give kids a clean, safe ride to school.”