Advocacy groups praise the Florida Department of
Education’s plans to accelerate use of electric school buses
Voicing their support for transportation electrification, clean energy organizations yesterday sent a letter to the Florida Department of Education commending its plans to accelerate Florida school districts’ replacement of diesel buses with clean electric school buses. This initiative is outlined in the Florida Department of Education’s Florida School Bus Specifications, which will be effective in January 2023.
Replacing diesel buses with clean electric school buses will improve air quality for Florida’s children, save school districts money, and improve the electrical grid’s resilience, the groups note in the letter.
“The time to electrify Florida’s school bus fleets is now, as there’s never been so much federal funding available for school bus electrification and awareness among communities about our critical need to reduce vehicle emissions,” said Mary Linn, a campaign organizer for the Electrification Coalition. “The future of transportation is certainly electric, and this initiative from the Florida Department of Education will provide critical support to school bus fleet operators to make that transition.”
More than 17,000 diesel school buses hit Florida’s roads daily, exposing approximately 955,000 students to air pollution levels up to 12 times higher than ambient levels.
The letter states that electric school buses are safer and healthier for children, and they create future jobs for them while also saving school districts money. Electric school buses save as much as $170,000 in operating and maintenance costs over a 15-year lifespan.
In the letter, the organizations urge the Florida Department of Education to enact this initiative as it will help school districts transition to a cleaner, more sustainable student transportation solution.
To view the released letter, please click here.