$1.2 Million Federal Grant Heading to Providence, Cranston School Districts for Clean Energy School Buses
RHODE ISLAND-- In an effort to help local schools cut fuel and maintenance costs, reduce emissions, and lower engine noise, U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse and Congressmen Jim Langevin and David Cicilline today announced that First Student Inc. – through their contract with the Providence School District – is receiving $1.2 million to replace four aging, diesel buses with new, zero-emission electric school buses. The delegation secured federal funding for this initiative in the American Rescue Plan’s Electric School Bus Rebates program. The funds are administered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and geared toward helping school districts in historically underserved communities.
Cranston Public Schools will also receive $40,000 to replace two diesel school buses with new buses that meet current emission standards and use cleaner energy. This funding comes from the EPA’s latest round of Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) School Bus Rebate Awards, which fund the replacement of old diesel school buses with new electric, diesel, gasoline, propane, or compressed natural gas school buses meeting current emission standards.
“This new federal funding to replace old, diesel school buses with new, electric school buses is a win for students, families, school districts, and taxpayers. It’s also a cost-effective, environmentally friendly investment that will pay off for years to come,” said Senator Jack Reed, a senior member of the Appropriations Committee. “These new buses will reduce pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. I look forward to helping more local school districts and communities successfully compete for additional funding through the $5.25 billion clean and electric bus grant program in the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.”
“With everything happening in the world right now, it’s clearer than ever that we need to transition away from fossil fuels. Replacing rickety, polluting school buses is a great place to start,” said Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. “This American Rescue Plan funding will give kids in Providence and Cranston a new, greener ride to school.”
“Our students deserve clean air, reliable transportation, and greener neighborhoods,” said Congressman Jim Langevin. “This American Rescue Plan funding is a major investment not only in our students, but in the public and environmental health of their entire communities. Electric and clean energy school buses are the future, and I am thrilled to see this groundbreaking technology coming to Providence and Cranston.”
“Our students need and deserve safe and reliable transportation – and that means busses that are better for our environment. As we work to build a greener world for our students, this investment represents progress in our work to improve air quality for all Rhode Islanders,” said Congressman David Cicilline. “The American Rescue Plan set us on a path to recovery by investing in our schools, students, and the environment. This is just one of many ways it is helping Rhode Island’s children.”
The Electric School Bus Rebates program is administered by EPA and serves as the first step in their “Clean Trucks Plan” – a series of clean air and climate regulations that the agency will develop over the next three years to reduce pollution from trucks and buses and advance the transition to a zero-emissions transportation future.