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Broward County Will Soon Have 60 New Electric School Buses

Broward electric bus.jpg
Thomas Built Buses
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The new electric school buses will be partially funded by a Volkswagen grant distributed through the Florida Environmental Protection Agency.

Broward is almost ready to buy 60 new electric school buses. First, though, the school district wants to set up charging stations, according to Vehicle Maintenance Manager Tommy Fitzpatrick.

“It’s better not to put the cart in front of the horse, so we want to make sure that infrastructure is sound and everything is in place before we bring in the buses," Fitzpatrick said.

The buses will be partially funded by a Volkswagen grant distributed through the Florida Environmental Protection Agency. The county will pay the standard diesel bus price and the grant will match whatever additional cost is left. Currently, only two vendors on the state's contract sell electric buses: Blue Bird Corp. and Thomas Built Buses.

"We anticipate purchasing the Thomas Saf-T-Liner C2 Jouley electric bus in a 72-passenger configuration and the Blue Bird Vision Electric School Bus, also in the 72-Passenger configuration currently," Fitzpatrick said.

Fitzpatrick says the buses have zero emissions and require less maintenance than their diesel counterparts. The new vehicles will make up 4% of the district’s fleet of 1,300 buses. They are replacing older diesel buses built on or before 2009.