First Student, a leading school transportation operator, has introduced its first electric school bus in Oregon, in partnership with the Gresham-Barlow School District (GBSD). This was made possible through a grant secured from Portland General Electric’s School Bus Fund, with First Student providing assistance through the grant application process, infrastructure design, charger and bus selection, utility outreach, and deployment.
First Student's operations across North America have more than one million miles of service with EVs. The electric school bus has been deployed at North Gresham Elementary and is expected to have an immediate positive impact on the students, with zero emissions and zero noise. The launch is part of First Student’s mission to convert 30,000 diesel buses to electric by 2035, which is expected to benefit student passengers and communities. Replacing one diesel school bus with an electric one can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 54,000 pounds each year, equivalent to 3.75 pounds of carbon dioxide for every mile driven.
“We are excited to partner with First Student to add the first electric bus to our fleet,” said GBSD Superintendent James Hiu. “Electric school buses reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and this new bus serves as a symbol of GBSD’s commitment to the environment and our community’s future.”
First Student has actively consulted with school partners to help take advantage of available funding across North America to obtain electric school buses. First Student also is participating in a pilot program with PGE to determine how the electric school bus can support the utility grid. The Electric School Bus Fund is funded via the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality’s Clean Fuels Program. PGE covers the incremental cost of the electric school bus and the total installation of charging infrastructure.