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First Student Secures Additional Clean School Bus Program Funding from EPA

EPA award will allow First Student to outfit more school districts with electric buses

CINCINNATI, Jan. 8, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Today, First Student, the leading school transportation provider in North America, and industry leader in electrification, secured an additional round of funding through the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean School Bus Program to accelerate the deployment of electric school buses across the U.S.

The EPA award will enable First Student to deploy more than 370 new electric school buses in school districts across the United States, bringing zero-emission student transportation to more communities. These awards are significant for the environment. Replacing just one diesel school bus with an electric school bus can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 54,000 pounds each year. This investment will also accelerate First Student’s commitment to transition 30,000 diesel-powered school buses to electric by 2035 by allowing it to further scale its EV production and deployment capabilities.

“We thank the Environmental Protection Agency for these awards and for accelerating the equitable deployment of electric school buses across the U.S. First Student looks forward to continuing our partnership with the EPA as we work to fulfill our commitment to transition 30,000 diesel school buses with clean, electric-powered school buses by 2035,” said First Student Chief Executive Officer and President John Kenning. “As the largest student transportation provider in the country, and the leading operator of electric school buses, our team has the resources and expertise to not only bring students to and from school safely, but also work with districts, utilities and municipalities to build the necessary charging and maintenance infrastructure for the future. We appreciate the EPA’s recognition of the turnkey nature of our proposal and are excited to continue modernizing fleets and improving the environmental health of the students and communities we serve.”

First Student’s application to the EPA’s Clean School Bus Program highlighted the company’s expertise and resources in assisting school districts with the transition from fossil fuel to electric school buses. In awarding the grants, the EPA recognized First Student’s ability to bring utilities and municipalities together with school districts in order to build the charging infrastructure and create a seamless experience for schools.

First Consulting, First Student’s team of internal expert consultants, is available to collaborate with school districts to streamline the process of implementing, managing and maintaining electrified fleets. As the leading operator of electric school buses in North America, this team can leverage their extensive experience to ensure a smooth transition for school districts, focusing on safety and efficiency in pursuit of environmental sustainability.

“This award is a huge win for the future of America’s electric school bus fleet. Electric school buses provide cleaner air and quieter, safer rides for students and the communities where they operate, ensuring that they start their day ready to learn and achieve their full potential,” said First Student Head of Electrification Kevin Matthews. “First Student has both the resources and expertise to assist districts, utilities, and municipalities develop the requisite charging and maintenance infrastructure to carry the EPA’s vision forward. We thank the Environmental Protection Agency for recognizing First Student’s proposal and the potential of our team to transform transportation safety and environmental stewardship.”

The Clean School Bus Program allocates funds for school districts to help cover the cost of replacing fossil fuel school buses with zero-emission vehicles. Today’s award represents the second batch of funding First Student has received through the program. In November 2022, the EPA granted First Student with funds to provide 12 school districts with of a total of 170 electric school buses.

About First Student
As a leading school transportation solutions provider in North America, First Student strives to provide the best start and finish to every school day. With a team of highly trained drivers and the industry’s strongest safety record, First Student delivers reliable, quality services, including full-service transportation and management, special-needs transportation, route optimization, and scheduling, maintenance, and charter services with a fleet of about 40,000 buses. For more information, visit firststudentinc.com.

Contact: Jen Biddinger

SOURCE First Student

Originally published at https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/first-student-secures-additional-clean-school-bus-program-funding-from-epa-302028861.html
Images courtesy of https://pixabay.com

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