FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. (WDVM) — Fairfax County Public Schools are going green in hopes of saving some green.
Parents and officials gathered on Monday to celebrate the addition of new electric school buses to their fleet. This brings the county one step closer to its goal of obtaining all-electric school buses by 2035.
Dropping diesel for electric buses is a trend seen in school districts across the DMV, and the soaring cost of gas makes it the perfect time to switch over.
“Higher prices at the pump highlight the need accelerate our transition to a clean energy economy, and offer affordable and convenient transportation options that are less vulnerable to these price spikes,” said EPA Administrator Michael Regan.
Regan says new legislation from President Biden means more buses are on the way.
“There’s an unprecedented $5 billion investment on the way for low and zero-emission school buses from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law,” said Regan. “I proudly joined Vice President Harris to announce $17 million in clean school bus grants to school districts all across the country.”
Parents from advocacy groups Mothers Out Front and Moms Clean Air Force tell that electric means less taxpayer money toward gas, and more focus on education.
“Obviously, I want to keep the cost down for the school districts so that money can go to learning instead of gas,” said Bobby Monacella from Mothers Out Front. “The switch to electric school buses and electric vehicles, in general, can only help everyone.”
FCPS students believe no emissions means a healthier environment for their peers.
“We’re the kids now. We have to make sure to improve the environment for future generations,” said Lena, a sixth-grade student.
As a war rages on in Ukraine, the switch will also mean energy independence for the school system.
“When we look at this international crisis and the price volatility, a lot of that is coming from crude oil, which is impacting our fuel supply. The fact that we can have cleaner air, and not depend on international price volatility is good for the school system and how we use taxpayer dollars,” said Regan.