Alisal Union School District received a new Blue Bird Electric Vision bus from A-Z Bus Sales. Shown here is one of Chico (Calif.) Unified School District's Blue Bird Electric Vision school buses. File photo courtesy Blue Bird

Alisal Union School District received a new Blue Bird Electric Vision bus from A-Z Bus Sales. Shown here is one of Chico (Calif.) Unified School District's Blue Bird Electric Vision school buses. File photo courtesy Blue Bird

SALINAS, Calif. — School Bus manufacturer Blue Bird recently delivered its 100th electric bus to a local school district.

Alisal Union School District (USD) received the Blue Bird Electric Vision school bus from A-Z Bus Sales on March 27, according to a news release from the manufacturer. The new alternative-fuel bus will replace an aging diesel-powered unit in the district’s fleet.

The bus produces zero emissions, according to Blue Bird, and can help reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions that affect students and communities.

“Alisal [USD] is committed to a clean environment and to preserving our natural resources for our future generations,” said Jim Koenig, the superintendent of the district. “The new 66-passenger Blue Bird bus will be a welcome addition to our fleet that will allow the district to discontinue use of a diesel bus that is over 20 years old.”

Blue Bird’s electric buses offer reduced maintenance costs since these buses do not require oil or transmission fluid changes and have fewer parts, and quieter operation, with a drivetrain that produces minimal noise.

“It is so encouraging to see districts like Alisal [USD] introduce electric into their fleets and look forward to the cost and air quality benefits they experience in coming years,” said Mark Terry, chief commercial officer at Blue Bird Corp. “They should expect a remarkable, positive difference in their maintenance and fuel-cost savings.”

Districts such as Alisal USD are finding it affordable to bring alternative-fuel buses into their fleets with the help of grants and incentives provided by energy companies and clean air initiatives, according to Blue Bird.

“Alisal Union School District is grateful to the Monterey Bay Unified Air Pollution Control District and Hybrid and Zero-Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Project (HVIP),” Koenig said. “This grant made this purchase possible for the district and its students.”

Alisal USD, as well as other districts, have received assistance from A-Z Bus Sales with securing grants for electric buses for many years.

“We specialize in alternative fuel grant access and administration and are excited to see that Alisal [USD] was able to secure a grant for this bus,” said John Landherr, president of A-Z Bus Sales.

The dealer has delivered 100 electric school buses, including Type C and D Blue Bird buses and Type A Micro Bird buses throughout California and Hawaii.

“Alisal has also worked with us to build a service and training plan, to prepare their drivers and technicians for the road ahead with this new technology,” Landherr added.

For more information on Blue Bird’s electric bus line, go here.

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