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MCCSC to add 4 new cost-saving electric buses to fleet

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The district already has three EV vehicles in its fleet in addition to 145 diesel and 10 gasoline-powered buses.

The EPA has awarded the Monroe County School Corporation $160,000 to purchase four new electric vehicle (EV) buses to lower district costs and emissions.

MCCSC Director of Transportation Nathan Oliver says the funds will help the district reach its goal of covering all general routes with EV buses in the next seven to 10 years. 

The district already has three EV vehicles in its fleet in addition to 145 diesel and 10 gasoline-powered buses. The three EV buses are already saving the district $34 a day, according to Oliver.

“As we add additional buses, that’s just less air pollution and better air quality for Monroe County, and the district is saving more money in fuel costs,he said.

When the district implemented the first EV bus two years ago, MCCSC saved more than 1,000 gallons of diesel fuel and avoided 25 tons of carbon dioxide in the first year alone, Oliver says.

The new buses come as gas prices are rising across the country. Oliver expects diesel prices for the district to rise to $5 by the end of the year. That means savings from the addition of the new EV buses could be closer to $50 a day.

According to the EPA, the awards are part of a national initiative to clean up school buses and protect children’s health. In the Midwest, the EPA awarded $1.2 million by lottery to school districts in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin.

MCCSC was the only district in Indiana to receive funding from the program, and it was also the district to receive the greatest award among 21 school districts in the Midwest.

To be eligible for the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) school bus rebates program, districts had to have a certain number of buses from 2009 or older with thresholds for emissions and number of miles accrued annually.

MCCSC parents and students can expect the new buses to go into commission by the end of the year.

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