1-19-24 PRESS RELEASE: Flint Community Schools Embarks on a Greener Journey with Electric School Buses

Flint, MI – January 19, 2024 - Flint Community Schools is excited to announce a groundbreaking initiative that will contribute to a healthier environment, enhance scholar well-being, and drive forward the future of transportation. Thanks to a generous grant from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Flint Community Schools is set to receive ten new electric school buses, marking a significant step toward a more sustainable and eco-friendly future.

The EPA has awarded over $39 million to First Student, Inc., a renowned transportation company, to acquire more than 100 electric buses across the Midwest. Ten of these state-of-the-art electric school buses will soon be a part of Flint Community Schools' fleet, showcasing our commitment to reducing our carbon footprint and prioritizing the health and safety of our scholars.

Switching from traditional gas-powered buses to electric school buses (ESBs) is a monumental stride in our journey towards a greener future. Electric buses offer a multitude of benefits, including improved air quality, reduced environmental impact, and potential contributions to grid resiliency through innovative vehicle-to-grid and vehicle-to-building technologies.

One common concern when transitioning to electric school buses is the impact on bus routes due to the need for charging. Rest assured, First Student employs advanced route modeling to determine the optimal bus battery size and charger specifications, ensuring that our routes remain efficient and unaffected by this transition.

Flint Community Schools remains committed to its partnership with First Student, Inc., and we anticipate no changes to this collaborative effort. However, it's essential to note that under the legislation establishing the Clean School Bus Program, bus ownership resides with First Student, providing continuity and reliability in case of any unforeseen changes.

The timing of this transition to electric school buses could not be more opportune. Several key factors make this the ideal moment to embrace electric transportation fully:

  • Michigan's mandate for all school buses to be electric by 2030.
  • Depletion of federal funding for traditional buses
  • Decreasing availability of make-ready programs from utilities
  • Widespread adoption of electric buses beyond political boundaries
  • Increasing diesel prices and diminishing diesel engine availability

Flint Community Schools is excited to elevate environmental stewardship, promote cleaner transportation, and contribute to a brighter future for our scholars and the community. Flint Community Schools is part of a growing trend in Mid-Michigan, where several school districts have embraced the transition to electric buses. In addition to Flint, districts such as Chesaning, Beecher, and Mayville also secured grants last year to acquire these environmentally friendly vehicles. We eagerly anticipate the positive impact of these electric school buses and the benefits they will bring to our beloved Flint Community Schools.

Download Press Release