Blue Bird Corporation has donated an electric Vision school bus to the Jerome Bettis Bus Stops Here Foundation in Pittsburgh, Penn. The bus will be turned into a mobile computer lab to expand the foundation's digital literacy programs for local community members in need.
The computer lab on wheels will serve both children and adults in low-income communities to develop critical computer skills for future success and upward mobility. The foundation anticipates assisting up to 200 students and adult-learners per week to help close the digital divide in those communities. The mobile computer lab will operate weekdays from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. and travel to a different neighborhood each day.
Jerome Bettis, pro football Hall of Famer and legendary former football running back for the Pittsburgh Steelers, founded the Bus Stops Here Foundation in 1997. Nicknamed "the Bus" for his large size and running style, Bettis has used his foundation to provide education, sports, technology, and recreational opportunities to the underprivileged youth of the inner-city. Bettis also resides in Atlanta, Ga. – the same state that Blue Bird has called home for nearly a century.
“My Bus Stops Here Foundation has worked over the past few years to help close the digital divide for inner-city communities,” Bettis said. “COVID-19 really exposed this issue even more, so I knew we had to do something more impactful, and the CyberBus is the next bus stop on that journey to create an equal opportunity for all.”
Said Blue Bird CEO Phil Horlock: “We are thrilled to partner with Jerome Bettis and his Bus Stops Here Foundation. Now our electric bus will turn into a powerful vehicle to bridge the digital divide in our communities. In addition, this bus generates zero emissions, protecting the health of our most vulnerable students and communities.”
Blue Bird donated a pre-owned Vision all-electric school bus in excellent condition to the foundation. The 37-foot electric bus can traditionally carry a maximum of 66 students for up to 120 miles on a single charge.
Blue Bird partner organization InCharge Energy will donate a Level 2 AC vehicle charger to the foundation enabling the bus to be recharged overnight. The donation includes the charging hardware, one year of InControl software and data plan, a virtual site assessment and a route planning consultation.