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First Student Launches Six New Electric School Buses in Pennsylvaniafrom EPA Round One Funding
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First Student Launches Six New Electric School Buses in Pennsylvaniafrom EPA Round One Funding

The buses are the first federally funded electric school buses in Pa; celebration at Steelton-Highspire School District included elected and local leaders

Harrisburg, Pa. – Today, First Student, the leading school transportation provider in North America, and proven industry leader in electrification, hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Steelton-Highspire School District celebrating the deployment of the first electric school buses (ESB) in Pennsylvania funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean School Bus Program.

Steelton-Highspire is replacing six of the school district’s seven buses with First Student’s electric emissions-free buses. This upgrade will improve the air quality in the surrounding area, benefitting the health of both students and the wider community. Replacing just one diesel school bus with an electric one can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 54,000 pounds annually.

The new ESBs are backed by First Student FlexCharge chargers with electricity coming from a 1.7-Megawatt solar array stationed on the Steelton-Highspire campus, powering every building in the school district. First Student manages transportation for SHSD and collaborated with it to secure the EPA funding and install the necessary charging and grid infrastructure for the project. First Student currently operates more than 330 electric school buses in North America, having already covered over 3 million miles of zero emission service. The company has committed to transition 30,000 of its diesel buses to electric by 2035.

“First Student is at the forefront of electrifying America’s school bus fleet because we believe these buses are better for students, schools, communities and the planet,” said First Student Head of Electrification Kevin Matthews. “We are the only company in the industry with the necessary resources and expertise to support districts, utilities, and municipalities in not just supplying buses but also creating the essential charging and maintenance infrastructure for electrifying school bus fleets. We are immensely proud to partner with the Steelton-Highspire School District to provide student transportation and thank the Environmental Protection Agency for making this moment possible.”

“Steelton-Highspire is honored to stand alongside First Student at today’s historic event,” said Mick Iskric, Steelton-Highspire Superintendent. “We cannot thank the EPA enough for awarding Clean School Bus Program funding to our district. These buses are a gamechanger for both our students and the community as a whole. We are proud to be the first school district in Pennsylvania to introduce buses funded through the EPA’s accelerator program and look forward to continuing working with First Student to provide our students with safe, reliable and now clean transportation to and from school.”

The celebration also featured a ride-along in an electric school bus provided by First Student. Attendees included Pennsylvania State Representative Dave Madsen, Highspire Borough Mayor Von Hess, Dauphin County Commissioner Justin Douglas, Steelton-Highspire Superintendent Mike Iskric, Steelton-Highspire Business Manager J.J. Carnes, Mom’s Clean Air Force’s Vanessa Lynch, First Student Head of Electrification Kevin Matthews and representatives from PPL Electric Utilities.

The EPA’s Clean School Bus Program provides funding to school districts to assist with the costs of replacing fossil fuel-powered school buses with zero-emission vehicles. First Student has helped school districts apply for this funding and has secured nearly $220 million to date, the largest amount awarded among transportation providers and enough to bring 530 electric school buses to more communities across the U.S.

B-ROLL/RESOURCES: 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, fleet electrification, route optimization, and scheduling, maintenance, and charter services with a fleet of more than 46,000 buses.