Mothers Out Front Fairfax has set a goal of transitioning Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) and school systems across Virginia to all-electric school buses by 2030 to give our kids healthy air to breathe and a livable future in the face of the climate crisis.
FCPS operates 1,625 diesel school buses, making it the second-largest school bus fleet in the country. In total, Virginia has about 17,000 school buses. Transitioning all these buses to electric can reduce the fleets’ greenhouse emissions by 50%. This transition will clearly have a huge impact on our state and will set a great example for other states to use various, competitive funding sources to build their own all-electric bus fleets.
Electric school buses make sense for our children’s health. Diesel buses produce toxic fumes laden with carcinogens and other particulates that can cause asthma and other respiratory illnesses. These fumes are visible spewing from the tailpipe, but they are actually even more concentrated inside the school bus. And many children are on the bus for up to an hour at a time twice a day.
Electric school buses also make sense for our climate. The 15-year lifespan of a diesel bus is too close to the UN Climate Panel’s 10-year cut-off limit to turn back greenhouse emissions so that we can avoid the worst effects of climate change. Replacing diesel buses with electric is a concrete way to show our kids that we adults are taking this threat seriously—that we care about their future.
In 2019, Dominion Energy announced that it is working to transition all school buses in its territory in Virginia to electric, and we applaud this effort. Thanks to Dominion, Virginia will have 50 electric school buses on the road by the end of 2020. This is a huge win for our children’s health and future.
Still, we have a lot of work ahead of us. Mothers Out Front Fairfax is continuing to advocate for a just and equitable transition of Virginia’s school bus fleets no later than 2030, and we are working with our legislators in Richmond to create additional funding tools for school systems across the state to purchase #CleanBuses4Kids.
“Mothers Out Front appreciates every electric school bus that is added, because that means one less dirty, polluting bus and one step for cleaner air and less greenhouse emissions. In the face of climate change, our kids’ future can’t wait.”
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Tell VA General Assembly to invest in Electric School Buses. No More Diesel!