Boston Public School will have 100% electric school buses by 2030, this was confirmed in an announcement last week by Boston mayor Michelle Wu. To start off, 20 electric buses will be deployed during the 2022-23 academic year as a pilot project. The ultimate goal will be to electrify its entire Boston school bus fleet by 2030.
Currently, there are 739 school buses in the fleet, with half of them running on diesel. This contributed to nearly 11% of the city’s municipal emissions. According to the City of Boston website, the Boston Public School is the second-largest department with a large building profile, after the Boston Police Department. They represent the largest source of municipal emissions.
The City of Boston’s Environment Department and the Boston Public Schools are working together to reduce vehicle emissions by electrifying Boston’s school bus fleet by converting the existing buses to electric vehicles.
In yet another partnership called Madison Park Technical Vocational High School and the Public Works Department, the “train the trainer” program is being implemented. Under this program, 10 mechanics from various city departments will be trained to service and repair electric school buses. They will later be deployed to teach the newly acquired students at Boston-area vocational-technical colleges.
According to WBUR, “This will be the trainer model because then we will be training our young people to be able to step into these jobs right away,”
The mayor added that electric vehicle training will be integrated into the core curriculum starting this fall.
Boston Public Schools later in April will launch a request for information to seek input from stakeholders on electrification strategies. This includes existing initiatives in other cities and exploring potential solutions to local challenges to electrification.
The American Lung Association and other health organizations have been actively demanding funds for the electric school buses from Congress because of the negative impact diesel fuel have on children’s health.
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