New electric school buses to serve 5 Minnesota school districts

Eight new electric school buses will provide service to five Minnesota school districts thanks to a new grant.

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) on Wednesday announced over $2.1 million in grants for its electric school bus pilot, which will benefit:

  • Faribault Transportation Services, which will service one bus to Faribault Public Schools.
  • Monarch Bus Service, which will service one bus to St. Paul Public Schools or Columbia Heights Public Schools.
  • Morris Area School District, which will service two buses in its district.
  • Northstar Bus Lines, which will service three buses to Osseo Area Schools.
  • Ottertail Coaches, which will service one bus to Fergus Falls Public Schools.

The MPCA says some of the newly funded buses have already begun transporting students, and the rest are expected to be in service by fall 2022.

In addition to the buses, the grantees are also getting funding for charging stations.

The pilot project aims to support cleaner vehicle technology to reduce air pollution. The awarded grant projects are expected to reduce air pollution from greenhouse gas emissions by 1,120 tons, according to the MPCA.

The agency also says Minnesota is now the first state in the Midwest to have a pilot project that will gather data and information about buses’ performance and reliability. The project is funded by the 2017 Volkswagen settlement, which funnels $47 million to Minnesota over 10 years.