West Hartford Secures $4.4M In Funding For Clean School Bus Transition

June 12, 2024

State Representatives Kate Farrar, Tammy Exum, Bobby Gibson, Jillian Gilchrest, and James Sanchez, and State Senator Derek Slap announced West Hartford Schools were selected to receive $4.4 million in rebate funding through the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s Clean School Bus Rebate Program.

These funds will facilitate the purchase of 22 electric school buses, contributing to a greener, healthier commute for students. The investment highlights the delegation's commitment to advancing West Hartford's clean energy goals and improving public health.

"The federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law continues to deliver for our residents, and especially our children. The funds to switch to electric school buses is a game-changer for West Hartford and the state," said Rep. Farrar. "It not only helps the environment by reducing emissions but improves the air quality for our kids and residents. "

"This investment will improve air quality for our children and community and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the transportation sector, which is the largest contributor to climate change,” said Rep. Exum. “Zero-emission vehicles protect children from asthma and other health conditions by reducing air pollution.”

“I am thrilled that West Hartford has found an innovative way to fight climate change and provide sustainable alternatives to our residents. The addition of electric school buses will greatly benefit our students and the environment as a whole,” said Rep. Gibson.

“I am pleased with the approval of this critical funding for electric buses and another step forward in our work to stem the tide of climate change for a healthier tomorrow,” Rep. Gilchrest said. “I look forward seeing the implementation of this cleaner approach to transportation for West Hartford.”

“West Hartford’s Transportation sector, which encompasses our municipal fleet and school buses, accounts for about 25% of our community’s energy use and is almost entirely dependent on fossil fuels," said Mayor Shari Cantor. "We are truly grateful for this grant, which will allow us to purchase 22 electric school buses, resulting in cleaner air for all. The $4.4 million grant moves our community closer to reaching its 100% clean energy goal by 2050.”

“This is wonderful news for the town of West Hartford, its residents, and especially its school children,” Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) Commissioner Katie Dykes said. “Connecticut suffers from some of the worst air quality in the United States, and our children riding on school buses are acutely exposed to the harms of heavy-duty vehicle exhaust. The transportation sector is responsible for 67% of smog-forming air pollution in our state, which exacerbates respiratory illnesses such as asthma. It is also by far the leading contributor of greenhouse gas pollution in our atmosphere, which is driving the climate crisis. I commend the West Hartford School District for taking the initiative to apply for this impactful funding, which will put 22 more clean-running electric buses on West Hartford roads. Many thanks to the Biden Administration and Connecticut’s Congressional delegation for delivering this funding through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. DEEP is doing its part to support these towns through the CT Clean School Bus program, which will provide funding to help towns implement these EPA awards. We encourage towns to visit the CT Clean School Bus webpage (CT Clean School Bus) and sign up to receive updates on this program.”