© Stocksak. FILEPHOTO: School buses can be seen parked at First Student Charter Bus Rental San Francisco, California on April 7, 2020. REUTERS/Stephen Lam
(Stocksak). – On Wednesday, the Biden administration announced nearly $1 billion in awards for U.S. school district to replace their aging, gas-fueled school buses by cleaner, mostly electric models.
This funding is the first tranche in a five-year program that will see the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), award $5 billion over five years. It is part of a clean school bus program established by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Act in 2021.
The White House stated that the awards will help to purchase 2,463 buses. 95% of these buses will be electric. Nearly 400 rebates will go towards school districts in all 50 States.
The EPA’s Clean School Bus Program is part of a larger push by this administration to improve public school infrastructure and reduce pollution caused by old buses. It helps fulfill the pledges of President Joe Biden to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and funnel federal investments into underserved communities.
According to a study done by the non-profit Public Interest Research Group, switching to an electric school bus fleet would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 5.3 millions tons per year. An EPA calculator shows that this is about the same amount as taking one and a quarter coal plants offline for a whole year.
Due to overwhelming demand by school districts, EPA stated last month that it would almost double its 500 million clean bus awards for the year. It will disburse $1 billion more under the program next fiscal year.