A school district in Phoenix, Arizona, has added its first electric school bus to its fleet.
Cartwright School District #38 unveiled its new 84-passenger Blue Bird All American RE electric school bus during a ribbon-cutting ceremony on June 30, according to a news release from the district.
The district’s decision to purchase the electric bus — which is reportedly the first in the state — was influenced by Chispa, a grassroots community nonprofit program that organizes for climate action.
“The idea that our school district not only invests in the educational excellence of our scholars, but also prioritizes a clean environment for our families, is a testament of immense love for our community and state,” said Dr. LeeAnn Aguilar-Lawlor, superintendent for Cartwright School District #38, in a news release from Blue Bird. “Our motto is ‘One team, una familia!’ and as a team, we are conscious of measures we can take to help clean air initiatives and lower carbon emissions.”
The district’s school board helped secure funding for the electric bus from a Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) grant, in addition to funding from local power company Salt River Project for a Level 2 charging station, according to the school bus manufacturer.
“As a board, we are aware of our community's need for better air quality and this is just one initiative we've championed,” said Marissa Hernandez, president of the district’s school board, in the news release from Blue Bird.
“Blue Bird helps school districts save thousands of dollars each year on fuel and maintenance, while prioritizing safety,” added Trevor Rudderham, the school bus OEM’s senior vice president of electrification. “Savings, in addition to providing clean-power transportation, make it easy to see how students and the community can benefit from a Blue Bird electric school bus, and that’s the case at Cartwright [School District #38].”
The district announced in its news release that the electric school bus will begin transporting students on August 2 — the first day of the 2021-22 school year.
Cartwright School District #83 currently serves 17,000 students at 21 schools, according to Blue Bird.
View an additional photo from Cartwright School District's ribbon-cutting ceremony for the electric bus, posted on the district's Twitter page, below.
Another great photo of our 84-passenger electric school bus & our distinguished guests @MayorGallego after they rode the first one in the state! Thank you board members for making it a reality. Next up: transporting scholars on the 1st day of school! #oneteamunafamilia pic.twitter.com/CTVvFBQKQI— Cartwright District (@CartwrightSD) July 1, 2021