In nearly every community across the Midwest students ride yellow school buses. It’s a classic feature of American life, so common it’s easy to overlook. But the diesel engine inside your average bus is not so sunny as its exterior, producing air pollution that poses health risks to our children, along with carbon emissions that exacerbate climate change.
The U.S. school bus fleet is the nation’s largest form of public transportation with 2.5x the number of vehicles of all other forms of mass transportation combined. School buses also serve a particularly important and vulnerable population, transporting more than 25 million children to and from school every day. In five Midwest states alone (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Minnesota) nearly 4 million children ride 86,800 school buses.
School buses transport more than 25 million children every day. Our children deserve a clean ride.
Transitioning to 100% pollution-free, electric school buses is critical for the future of our communities. Children’s lungs are still developing, so they are especially vulnerable to the harmful effects of diesel pollution generated by dirty fossil fuel school buses. Moreover, kids living in environmental justice communities generally experience higher rates of asthma and other lung ailments and are therefore disproportionately impacted by diesel school buses they ride and that drive through their neighborhoods.
While the sticker price is initially higher, an electric bus actually costs less over the life of the vehicle compared to a diesel bus, making it a better investment in the long run. Additionally, electric bus batteries can serve as valuable grid resources, storing clean energy for times of high demand or emergency situations. ELPC is working with school districts, administrators, utilities, and government agencies to overcome cost barriers and ensure electric school bus programs roll out effectively across the Midwest.
Right now, you can double your impact on ELPC’s efforts to expand electric school buses across the region. Thanks to our friends at the Make It Better Foundation all gifts made to ELPC will be matched dollar for dollar to $10,000.
It’s past time to get our kids and drivers onto zero-emission buses to and from school, sporting events and field trips. By supporting this work, ELPC will continue advocating for a clean ride for kids and you can look forward to seeing many more electric school buses hitting roads across the Midwest soon.
The Environmental Law & Policy Center is the Midwest’s leading environmental legal advocacy organization. We drive transformational policy changes with national impacts. Learn more at www.elpc.org.