District plans to begin transporting students on new buses after winter break
ALMA - Wabaunsee Unified School District 329 on Wednesday, Dec. 16, became the first school district in the state to receive two electric buses through the United States Environmental Protection Agency's Clean School Bus Program.
Staff members from Lion Electric, the vendor of the two electric buses, were on hand to train bus drivers and other staff members as the buses were unloaded and delivered to the district.
The LionC electric buses have a range of about 125 miles on average per full charge. Each 71-passenger school bus cost about $395,000, which was covered for the district through the EPA Clean School Bus Program. Wabaunsee was one of six districts in the state to receive funding for electric buses.
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law of 2021 authorizes EPA to offer rebates to replace existing school buses with clean and zero-emission models to reduce harmful admissions from older buses. EPA announced in September 2022 that it would nearly double the funding awarded for clean school buses following high demand from school districts that applied for the 2022 Clean School Bus Rebates. This is the first round of funding from the EPA Clean School Bus Program, which President Joe Biden's Bipartisan Infrastructure Law created with a $5 billion investment for low- and zero-admission school buses during the next five years.
The EPA received about 2,000 applications requesting nearly $4 billion for more than 12,000 buses, according to the EPA website. The EPA selected 404 applicants, including the six in Kansas, and awarded a total of $949,595,000.
The six districts in Kansas to receive funding are:
There were 13 additional districts in Kansas that applied for electric school buses but weren't selected. If any of the selectees are deemed ineligible, drop out of the program or otherwise reduce their funding request, then EPA will offer leftover funds to unselected applicants.
For more information on the Clean School Bus Program, visit School Bus Rebates: Clean School Bus Program | US EPA.
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