Clean-powered buses coming to three Michigan school districts
Detroit, Lansing, and Pontiac public school systems will soon have the funds to purchase 15 clean-powered school buses apiece.
That’s thanks to the EPA’s Clean School Bus Program, which is providing $5 billion over five years to replace existing school buses across the country with zero- and low-emission buses.
The funding comes from the federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Each of the three Michigan districts will receive $5,925,000 to invest in the clean-energy buses and the charging infrastructure needed to run them.
Susan Mudd is a senior policy advocate with the Environmental Law and Policy Center, a Midwest-based environmental advocacy group. She said the ELPC is thrilled for the districts receiving the money.
"There are numerous reasons why school districts are moving away from old, dirty, diesel buses to clean, zero-emission electric buses. One is children's health. Getting kids away from polluting diesel fumes will help their lungs, will help avoid asthma attacks, will help avoid parents having to take days off of work to deal with sick children. But also, there are advantages for the drivers who are dealing with a quieter bus, so kids are getting to school calmer without having to scream over the loud rumbling of a diesel bus. It’s also good for the communities through which the buses drive,” Mudd said.
The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy said Michigan has a total of almost 17,000 school buses.
The EPA currently has another round of funding open to districts who want to begin replacing their fossil fuel-powered bus fleets. Applications are due January 31 at 4:00 pm EST.