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Modesto City Schools becomes one of first districts to have half electric bus fleet

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(FOX40.COM) — Modesto City Schools has become one of the first school districts in
California to convert half of its bus fleet to electric vehicles.

“The completion of our fleet of electric buses is just one of many steps we are taking
toward environmental sustainability at Modesto City Schools,” said Dr. Sara Noguchi,
Superintendent of Modesto City Schools. “This project speaks to the impact that any
district can choose to have – by committing to environmental sustainability and
prioritizing dollars and effort toward that goal.”

Modesto City School is scheduled to receive its 30th electric bus this month. According to a recent press release, replacing 30 diesel-powered and polluting school buses in Modesto with zero-emission vehicles reduces harmful carbon emissions in the Central Valley by 367.5 metric tons annually, which is the equivalent of taking 81 gasoline powered cars off the road for an
entire year.

“We are proud to contribute to cleaner air and celebrate this major milestone – an
industry first – with Modesto City Schools and all our valued customers across North
America,” said Britton Smith, president at Blue Bird Corporation. “The demand for clean
and sustainable school bus transportation remains high. Therefore, Blue Bird continues
to significantly expand its electric school bus production.”

Each electric bus is being charged using solar carports and charging stations, reducing
strain on the city’s power system. These projects are also reported to be a catalyst for further technical education for the district’s high school students as the district incorporates renewable
energy curriculum into its robust Career Technical Education (CTE) classes.

“Every time the community sees our electric school buses –with their unmistakable
green front bumper – they know our commitment to sustainability,” said Modesto City
Schools Associate Superintendent of Business Services Tim Zearley. “It’s just one of
many steps we have taken to reduce our impact on the environment while also teaching
students about careers of the future.”

Modesto City School’s bus fleet purchased its advanced electric vehicles through Blue
Bird’s authorized school bus dealer A-Z Bus Sales in California. The Modesto City Schools’ Board of Education approved the purchase of 30 Electric School Buses in January 2022, reportedly making it the largest single order of Blue Bird Electric school buses in the nation.

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