Petition in Support of a Transition to Electric School Buses
It's time to plan the transition to Electric School Buses in the Amherst-Pelham Regional School District!
- They're healthier: they don't expose riders and the public to harmful carbon monoxide fumes (more on the health issue here)
- They're safer: better handling, responsiveness, and ride comfort and less likely to roll over due to lower center of gravity.
- They're cheaper to repair and maintain
- They're quieter: so the bus driver can more easily communicate with the passengers
- Their batteries can be used as back-up in the event of a power failure
- And they're as environmentally friendly as the energy source used to charge them!
- gradually, as diesel buses need replacing.
- using some of the following funding solutions from outside Amherst:
- Volkswagen settlement money
- state education funding
- partnerships with electrical utilities
- financial benefits from vehicle to grid technology
- leasing electric school buses instead of purchasing them
As residents in the Amherst-Pelham Regional School District, we want to take action to help avert the worst effects of climate change. We are concerned for the health and safety of our children and grandchildren, and want to take the lead in addressing climate change. One way we can take action locally is to transition our school bus fleet from using fossil fuels to using electricity.
Transportation is a major source of greenhouse gas emissions. Transitioning our school bus fleet will not only lower emissions, it will also send a message to our children that we are taking steps to combat climate change, and address health concerns related to diesel exhaust, to ensure a healthy future for them.
We are concerned about the health risks associated with diesel exhaust for children that ride the bus every day. Given that young people have higher breathing rates and are still growing, they are more susceptible to the adverse health effects of diesel exhaust, such as increased allergies and asthma.
We believe it will be possible, in the coming years, to invest in electric buses without raising taxes for the communities by replacing them only as old buses age out and when the projected life-cycle cost is close to that of a diesel bus.
Therefore, we, the undersigned Amherst, Pelham, Shutesbury, and Leverett parents and community members, submit this petition to the Amherst-Pelham Regional School Committee, in order to declare our support for an immediate start to planning for a transition from fossil-fuel-powered to electric school buses. We ask that the School Committee:
- Develop a plan to transition the public school buses to electric as soon as is feasible, including all buses owned and contracted for service, in the context of an overall plan to reduce the carbon footprint in Amherst-Pelham Regional Public Schools.
- Research grants available for funding electric school buses and their charging infrastructure, as well as for the training to properly maintain the vehicles, and explore potential funding partnerships.
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