SUN VALLEY (CNS) - The Los Angeles Unified School District announced a commitment Tuesday to purchase 180 electric school buses, along with chargers and other infrastructure, as part of a plan to fully electrify its Sun Valley Bus Yard by 2026.
The Sun Valley yard provides transportation for 4,600 students each day in the northern portion of the nation's second-largest school district. The yard currently uses primarily compressed natural gas buses, along with some gas- powered and propane-fueled vehicles. It currently has six electric buses and chargers, according to the district.
"We must fully commit ourselves to creating a model of sustainability that benefits our students, our school communities and generations to come," Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho said in a statement. "This aggressive timeline to fully electrify the Sun Valley Bus Yard with 180 electric buses and chargers by 2026 reinforces our commitment to pursue any and all means necessary to reduce our impact on the environment. Los Angeles Unified is leading the charge to a more sustainable future with this important investment."
District officials said a funding request for the bus purchases will be presented to the Board of Education later this year, with construction of the electric-vehicle infrastructure anticipated to begin in late 2024. An estimated cost was not immediately released, but officials said it would be the largest single purchase of electric school buses and associated infrastructure by any school district in the nation.
But district officials said the effort is expected to save roughly $10,000 per bus per year in maintenance and fuel costs, leading to a total savings of $2 million per year. The electrification effort will also lead to a reduction of 780,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year, according to the LAUSD.
"Expanding our fleet of electric school buses is one of the most critical steps the district can take not only to reduce our carbon emissions but also to improve student safety," LAUSD Board President Jackie Goldberg said in a statement. "I am thrilled the district is moving in this direction and I look forward to further ways we can make our infrastructure and spaces more green."