Electric school buses may not be well known yet, but the classic yellow U.S. school buses are known worldwide. Even as a Belgian, I knew about them because of the show The Simpsons. They made them even more famous abroad than they already were. I've had the thought for many years as to why these old diesel buses are still around, and how they should all be electric. Problem is I didn't do anything about it. I didn't know where to begin or how to tackle that problem. But, Bobby Monacella knew.
Bobby, our marketing manager, has been part of a campaign on converting these yellow buses that stand for diesel pollution and nostalgia, and turning them into modern conveyors of hope and technology.
Bobby organized an electric school bus event recently at Flint Hill Elementary School in Vienna. The U.S. EPA administrator Michael Regan spoke, Fairfax County administrators spoke, and also some kids from the school.
Thanks in part to Bobby's work, Fairfax already has 18 electric school buses. More of these yellow buses are coming and they will display the progress that can be made. Transitioning old, diesel, polluting, and expensive equipment into new, clean, less noisy, cheaper to operate transportation is exactly what we should be doing, for our kids, and for the climate.
Bobby speaking at Flint Hill elementary school in Vienna, VA with EPA Administrator Michael Regan
These electric school buses will save our kids' health. Did you know that diesel pollution is concentrated 6x more inside the bus than outside the bus? When you see that black smoke coming out of the back, just think about how that's even worse inside. That diesel pollution can cause asthma, learning disabilities, and even cancer.
Meantime, that pollution is also a greenhouse gas, trapping heat in our atmosphere. If our kids don't immediately get sick from it, it will absolutely affect their future as our global temperature has already reached a dangerous level. The IPCC tells us it's now or never to manage our emissions to avoid true climate catastrophe. And every diesel bus we purchase locks us into the 15-year lifespan of that bus polluting our air and wrecking our climate.
EPA Administrator Michael Regan spoke about the $5 billion dollars in electric school bus grant money for school districts, available through the EPA as a result of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
With 1,625 buses in Fairfax, 17,000 total buses in Virginia, and 480,000 across the country, changing these buses to all-electric will make a huge difference in our kids' health and their future.
I love the progress. I want my kids in Fairfax to go to school on an electric bus!
You can reach out to Bobby if you'd like to learn more or get involved! Email her at email@example.com.