Improving air quality in Colorado is a priority for Gov. Jared Polis, whose $40 billion budget proposal for 2022 includes $150 million for electric school buses.
The funding proposed by Polis would replace 2,000 buses (or about half the school bus fleets in Colorado) within six years.
Trevor Rudderham, senior vice president of electrification for Blue Bird Corporation, praised the Colorado funding plan.
“It’s inspiring to see more and more resources becoming available for such an important initiative,” he said. “Blue Bird remains the leader in supporting the rapidly growing demand for emissions-free transportation as the country aligns with zero-emissions and clean-air incentives. Every single dollar dedicated to clean air is a dollar well spent.”
Patrick Gervais, vice president of marketing and communications for The Lion Electric Co., agreed.
“Obviously, we’re really thrilled to see Colorado is transitioning toward electric,” Gervais said. “It shows they want to take the lead in it and that reflects the beauty of Colorado, the air, the environment, and that goes with who they are. We certainly salute that investment, and we strongly believe that’s a great thing.”
Shoshana Lew, director of Colorado’s Department of Transportation, told The Denver Post that switching from diesel to electric for the state’s 300,000 bus-riding students would reduce overall transportation emissions.