First Student and Providence Public Schools, along with federal, state, and city leaders, have announced the deployment of four zero-emission electric school buses in the City of Providence, Rhode Island.
The buses will not only function in the Providence School District but also replace four diesel buses in the district’s fleet. The four buses also represent First Student’s first electric vehicles deployed in Rhode Island.
"Electric school buses provide quieter, cleaner, healthier, and safer rides for students, ensuring they start their day ready to learn and achieve their full potential," said First Student Head of Electrification Kevin L. Matthews. "We are proud to help Providence Public Schools deploy the district's first electric buses, which can provide better learning experiences and healthier futures for children, and we are excited to see this transformative effect here in Providence."
To purchase the electric buses, $1.2 million in funding was provided by the American Rescue Plan’s Electric School Bus rebate program. The program, administered by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, is designed to help school districts replace existing diesel school buses with zero-emission buses.
A second grant, provided by Rhode Island Energy, helped fund the purchase of bus chargers and the development of a charging infrastructure.
"Today's announcement is a great federal investment in Rhode Island's families, our environment, and our future," said U.S. Representative Gabe Amo. "I am excited that this funding will enable our students to reliably get to school on electric school buses while helping us fight climate change, build a greener world for the next generation, and help us improve our air quality."
This electric school bus purchase agreement will help advance First Student’s goal of transitioning 30,000 diesel buses to electric by 2035 to continue improving the health and well-being of even more students and communities.