Background

The Yellow Bus system is the largest form of mass transit in the United States, comprising 480,000 buses carrying 25 million children every day. And it mostly runs on diesel. In the last two decades, there have been investments and efforts to deploy cleaner forms of transportation for school children. Diesel engine retrofits have significantly reduced air pollutant emissions from school buses, and alternative fuels promise to cut emissions even further. However, none of these technologies and fuel options eliminates air pollutants and greenhouse gases (GHG), the primary drivers of climate change. 

Electric school buses (ESB) offer a solution to address both climate and air quality concerns by eliminating tailpipe emissions, with additional promise of long-term economic returns due to fuel savings and low maintenance costs. The electric school bus market is rapidly evolving, and their adoption is increasing nationwide. 

The Colorado EV plan 2020 has set ambitious goals to convert light-, medium- and heavy-duty vehicles to 100% zero-emissions before 2050. As part of this process, state agencies are interested in engaging with key stakeholders to develop strategies to support adoption of zero emission school buses.

Purpose of the Working Group 

The Denver Metro Clean Cities Coalition ESB Working Group is a peer-to-peer educational opportunity for school districts and other interested stakeholders to learn about electric school buses, and elements of sustainable transportation.

At the end of the workshop, the participants will be equipped with useful knowledge that can be incorporated in their procurement process and fleet decision-making as desired.

Benefits of the Working Group

  • Opportunity to learn about the technical, logistical, and financial details of school bus electrification from experts in the field
  • Chance to familiarize with deployments, use cases, and lesson learned
  • Creation of a friendly forum to identify opportunities and challenges of school bus electrification across Colorado
  • Opportunity to break down barriers and create a cohesive group of peers 

DMCC Role

  • Support the learning effort with live web meetings that bring together experts in electric school buses and relevant stakeholders
  • Organize fleet site visits and other activities as appropriate
  • Help break down barriers and create a cohesive group of peers

Description of Project

The project will complete the following tasks:

  • Distribute a survey to potential participants to gather information about specific school districts and understand their specific learning interests
  • Research and assemble learning material pertaining to school bus electrification, to be presented and discussed through virtual meetings 
  • Ensure that every virtual meeting is an engaging discussion 
  • Encourage participants in the Working Group to attend the Zero Emission Bus Conference planned to be held in Denver in September 2021

Key Stakeholders

  • School District Staff (Principals, Fleet Managers)
  • Community Representatives
  • Transit Agencies (RTD)
  • Utilities

School districts – find out how to get plugged in! Contact us here.