BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — The California Association of School Transportation Officials (CASTO) is opposing a proposal for a new set of statewide fleet rules mandating the use of compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles, saying the proposal puts children's safety at risk, keeps older buses on the road and violates the state's commitment to fuel neutrality.
The proposal has been placed before the California Air Resources Board (CARB) by the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD), which has already mandated that school bus operators in its jurisdiction purchase CNG vehicles. CASTO is urging CARB to reject the proposal.
"The SCAQMD experience is a case study for why CARB should reject this proposal," said CASTO President Alex Robinson. As a result of the SCAQMD's CNG-only rule, Robinson said, "Many districts in the south coast are keeping older buses on the road or cutting back on service, meaning more students are driving to school. This, in turn, increases emissions and congestion and creates transportation conditions that are less than safe."