California’s kids breathe easier: Gov. Newsom proposes funding for 1,000 new electric school buses

Media Contacts
Emily Rusch

Vice President and Senior Director of State Offices, The Public Interest Network

New zero-emission school buses would promote clean air and a livable climate

CALPIRG Education Fund

SACRAMENTO — Gov. Gavin Newsom announced on Friday a proposal to fund 1,000 new all-electric school buses for districts throughout California. In California, nearly 25,000 school buses drive more than 230 million miles every year. While some Californian school districts have already made progress toward electrifying fleets, the majority of school buses still run on diesel, a fossil fuel that increases global warming emissions and has been linked to several serious health risks, including increased rates of respiratory illness and cancer. The risks are especially pronounced in children and have also been linked to poor academic performance. Each electric school bus can save school districts nearly $2,000 a year in fuel costs and $4,400 a year in reduced maintenance costs. 

The funding is part of Gov. Newsom’s budget proposal and still needs to be approved by the legislature. 

Emily Rusch, executive director of CALPIRG, issued the following statement:

“Now that it’s becoming safe for our kids to return to the classroom, we need to take a hard look at the buses that get them there. Everytime we put our kids on a diesel bus, we’re putting them at risk. Electric school bus technology is here and it’s ready to roll, but we need to make sure that funding programs are in place to help our schools make the switch. Gov. Newsom’s proposed budget is the first step toward a healthier, safer future with all-electric school buses for California. Kids — and their parents — can breathe a little easier today.”

Learn more about CALPIRG’s “Electric Buses for California” campaign here.
Read our recent report: Accelerating the Transition to Electric School Buses