Gresham, OR – First Student, the leader in school bus electrification, announces the company’s first electric school bus in Oregon, supporting the Gresham-Barlow School District (GBSD). First Student partnered with GBSD to secure a grant from Portland General Electric’s (PGE) School Bus Fund.
First Student’s team of electric vehicle experts assisted the district through the grant application, infrastructure design, charger and bus selection, utility outreach and construction, and deployment. First Student is the largest operator of electric school buses in North America with more than one million miles of service with EVs.
“The launch of the electric school bus in Gresham has an immediate positive impact to the students at North Gresham Elementary – zero emissions and zero noise,” said First Student’s Head of Electrification Kevin L. Matthews. “With more than 230 electric school buses on the road today, this is just the beginning of our mission to convert 30,000 diesel buses to electric by 2035, benefiting student passengers and the communities we serve.”
Replacing one diesel school bus with an electric one can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 54,000 pounds each year. That’s the equivalent of 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 is also 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.
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 about 46,600 buses. For more information, visit firststudentinc.com.
About Gresham-Barlow School District
The Gresham-Barlow School District serves families with students in grades K-12 and has a student population of more than 11,000. The district has 17 schools and a solid reputation for providing its students with a quality education. Gresham is Oregon’s fourth largest city. Nestled 15 miles east of Portland, the city of Gresham has a population of more than 100,000. For more information about the Gresham-Barlow School District, visit: www.gresham.k12.or.us.