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First Student Increases EPA-Awarded Electric School Bus Funding by $200M, Bringing Total to $401M
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First Student Increases EPA-Awarded Electric School Bus Funding by $200M, Bringing Total to $401M

New funding from the third round of the EPA’s Clean School Bus Program means 673 electrified buses, after First Student led all contractors in rounds one and two

CINCINNATI, May 29, 2024 — Today, First Student, the leading school transportation provider in North America, and industry leader in electrification, received $200 million in rebates from the third round of funding of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean School Bus Program. The new funding brings First Student’s total program awards to more than $400 million across the three funding rounds, allowing the company to accelerate its push to provide healthier and safer rides to students through electrification. This round of EPA funding will enable First Student to deploy up to an additional 670 electric school buses in 45 school districts across the U.S. Overall, from all three EPA rounds to date, First Student will be able to deploy more than 1,200 electric school buses.

“First Student is leading the way on school bus electrification and this award supercharges that effort,” said First Student Chief Executive Officer and President John Kenning. “We would like to thank the Environmental Protection Agency for their support of this important priority. America’s students deserve the cleanest, safest rides to and from school, so they arrive at school ready to learn. First Student has the resources, expertise and ground-breaking technology to meet the moment. We are excited to continue building the school bus fleet of the future with the support of the EPA.”

First Student has successfully deployed more than 350 electric buses across North America and provided more than 3 million miles of emissions free operations in pursuit of its commitment to transition 30,000 diesel vehicles to electric by 2035. Today’s EPA investment will accelerate that plan. Scaling the use of these zero-emission vehicles will provide significant and tangible improvements for the environment. Replacing just one diesel school bus with an electric school bus can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 54,000 pounds each year. First Student has also been awarded approximately $65 million through other Canadian, federal, state and utility programs to electrify school bus fleets across the country.

“First Student is proud to call the EPA a partner in our school bus electrification efforts,” said First Student Head of Electrification Kevin Matthews. “First Student electric school buses funded by this program are already creating safer and cleaner rides to and from school and these investments means expanding that benefit to even more districts. Our expertise and resources ensure that school districts can put these awards to use right away, turning these rebates into much-needed fleet upgrades.”

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 and associated charging infrastructure. Round two was competitively bid grants, while rounds one and three were lottery rebate awards. Today’s award represents the third batch of funding First Student has received through the program. In January 2024, the EPA awarded First Student $140 million, the largest amount awarded among all contractors, to enable First Student to deploy more than 370 new electric school buses in school districts across the United States.

In November 2022, First Student worked with 11 districts to secure EPA grants under the first round of funding. This funding, approximately $60 million, is designed to provide 11 school districts with of a total of 160 electric school buses. In awarding the rebates and grants, the EPA recognized First Student’s ability to bring utilities and municipalities together with school districts in order to build the charging infrastructure and create a seamless experience for schools.

First Student works directly with school districts on their electrification goals, collaborating on the applications to the EPA and in deploying and maintaining the vehicles. First Student has a team of internal expert consultants called First Consulting who works closely to make sure grant applications reflect specific school district needs.

B-ROLL/RESOURCES: Watch a video that showcases First Student’s electric school bus fleet.

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, route optimization, and scheduling, maintenance, and charter services with a fleet of about 45,000 buses. For more information, visit .