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First Student and Cincinnati Public Schools to Deploy District’s First Electric School Buses
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First Student and Cincinnati Public Schools to Deploy District’s First Electric School Buses

CINCINNATI – First Student, the leader in school bus electrification, will be working in partnership to deliver a cleaner and quieter ride to school for hundreds of students in Cincinnati Public Schools (CPS). The company, which is based in Cincinnati, has secured $3.95 million from an award from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to purchase 10 electric school buses and chargers, a first for the district.

“Cincinnati Public Schools is committed to safe, efficient transportation for our students and sustainable systems to enable success, as outlined in our new Strategic Plan,” Cincinnati Public Schools Superintendent and CEO Iranetta Rayborn Wright said. “This investment in school bus electrification isn’t just a step toward sustainability, it supports the well-being of our students, families and community. By embracing eco-friendly transportation, we’re reducing emissions while fostering a healthier environment for our students.”

The funding for the electric school buses comes from the EPA’s Clean School Bus Program, which is designed to accelerate the deployment of electric school buses across the U.S. In its second round of funding, the EPA awarded First Student the funding to deploy more than 370 new electric school buses in school districts across the country, bringing zero-emission student transportation to more communities, including Cincinnati.

“With this grant, the EPA is empowering First Student and CPS to make incredible progress on our shared mission of building a more sustainable Cincinnati,” said Cincinnati Mayor Aftab Pureval. “The deployment of electric school buses will mean lower emissions on our streets, around our schools, and in the air our children breathe. We’re extremely grateful for our partners’ investment in environmental protection and healthy communities, and I’m thrilled for the work to come.”

First Student will work with CPS to deploy the new electric buses over the next 18 months. Replacing just one diesel school bus with an electric school bus can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 54,000 pounds each year. First Student is committed to transitioning 30,000 of its diesel-powered school buses to electric by 2035.

“This award is a big win for our community and for the future of America’s electric school bus fleet,” said First Student CEO and President John Kenning. “We work with districts, utilities and municipalities to build the necessary charging and maintenance infrastructure to support electric school buses and are especially proud to be doing so in partnership with Cincinnati Public Schools. Electric school buses promote healthier communities, and that’s just what we are building here. We thank the EPA and Cincinnati Public Schools for recognizing First Student’s ability to transform student transportation safety while protecting the environment.”

The Clean School Bus Program allocates funds for school districts to help cover the cost of replacing fossil fuel school buses with zero-emission vehicles. In November 2022, the EPA granted First Student with funds to provide 12 school districts with a total of 170 electric school buses.

About First Student
As a leading school transportation solutions provider in North America, First Student strives to provide the best start and finish to every school day. With a team of highly trained drivers and the industry’s strongest safety record, First Student delivers reliable, quality services, including full-service transportation and management, special-needs transportation, fleet electrification, route optimization, and scheduling, maintenance, and charter services with a fleet of more than 46,000 buses.

About Cincinnati Public Schools
The Cincinnati City School District, also known as Cincinnati Public Schools, serves about 36,000 students in over 66 schools spread across southwest Ohio. CPS is Greater Cincinnati’s largest, and Ohio’s second largest school district. CPS offers families high-quality educational choices and a variety of academic programs. CPS’ work is outlined in five strategic priorities– Support Our Students, Equip Our Educators, Connect Our Community, Ignite Innovation and Optimize Operations. With a focus on Academics, Behavior and Culture, CPS is committed to developing the whole child, ensuring students thrive and graduate prepared to enroll in college, enlist in the military or become gainfully employed. For more information visit