Big Buses, Big Opportunity: How Electric Buses Support Cleaner Air, Healthier Kids, and Lower Costs
Abby Bleything, Vermont Clean Cities Coalition & Cara Robechek, Vermont Energy Education Program, representing Transportation for Vermonters

Vermont should leverage investment in replacing inefficient and dirty diesel buses with an electric bus fleet. Taking this action would reduce the impacts of air pollution on our most vulnerable populations, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and keep more of Vermonters’ money in the local economy.

Pitch Summary:

Vermont has the opportunity to improve our children’s health and our communities’ bottom lines while reinforcing our commitment to transportation choices, affordability, and clean energy. The large buses that travel our streets – both the colorful transit buses and the timeless yellow school buses – show how our rural state has worked to provide transit and other transportation choices that help people get where they need to go. At the same time, the inefficient, diesel buses that make up most fleets come with real issues: they emit diesel exhaust that is dangerous for children, drivers, and passersby, especially those with chronic disease; are subject to fluctuations in fuel prices, and are inefficient – the average diesel transit bus gets just 4.5 miles per gallon. Fortunately, electric transit and school buses –including buses that have been designed and tested in our cold climate – are now available. We propose two options to catalyze the shift from diesel to electric in our state’s buses. The first is to use VW settlement funds, pollution pricing revenue, state bonding capacity, and/or leveraged federal funds to help school districts across the state integrate one or more electric buses (and charging infrastructure), into their fleets. The second is to use these revenue sources to make a focused effort to replace the majority of buses in a transit fleet that has access to 100% or near 100% renewable energy. Implementing one or both of these will show how electric buses can work in Vermont, and lay the groundwork for the long-term shift to electric buses in our state.

Submitted by: Transportation for Vermonters Coalition; Transportation for Vermonters Coalition; Rebecca Ryan (American Lung Association – VT) – Coalition Member,  Cara Robechek, Abbey Bleything

Full Pitch