Massachusetts

Electric School Bus Campaign

It's time to switch to Electric School Buses!

Why?

  • 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!

How?

  • 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

On November 24 at 1:00, we will gather at the Jones Library to engage supporters for this campaign and gather signatures on our petition.  RSVP here.  


This is the text of our petition to the Town of Amherst:

Many citizens in Amherst want to take action to help avert a climate crisis.  We are concerned for the health and safety of our children and grandchildren, and can’t rely on the federal government to take the lead in addressing climate change. One way we can take action locally is to convert our school buses from fossil fuel power to electric power.   Transportation is a major source of greenhouse gas emissions. Changing our school buses will not only lower greenhouse gas emissions, it will also send a message to our children that we are taking steps to combat climate change in order to ensure a healthy future for them. 

  We are also concerned about the health risks 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.  Studies in California and Connecticut have shown that children inside a school bus are exposed to an even higher rate of harmful particulate matter than those outside on the street.  

We believe it will be possible, in the coming years, to invest in electric buses without raising taxes for the community by replacing them only as old buses age out.  

Therefore, we, the undersigned Amherst parents and community members, submit this Group Petition to the Town of Amherst in order to declare our support for a transition from fossil-fuel-powered to electricity-powered school buses, starting immediately. We ask that the Town of Amherst:

  • Apply for all grants available and explore potential business partnerships for funding electric school buses and their charging infrastructure, as well as for the training to properly maintain the vehicles.
  • Initiate the development of a comprehensive plan  to transition the school buses for Amherst Public Schools, in coordination with the Amherst-Pelham Regional Schools, to electric or otherwise zero emission as soon as is feasible, including all buses owned by the districts and contracted bus services. 

More info here about the nationwide campaign for electric school buses.


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