By Staff Reports
(Victor Valley)– Thanks to a grant from the Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District (MDAQMD), three new all-electric buses will be joining the fleets at two local school districts, improving the air quality for students, bus drivers and the Mojave Desert.
The buses have been ordered and should arrive ready for use in four to five months, according to Brad Poiriez, Executive Director of the Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District.
“We believe that removing pollutants closest to our youngest residents is a priority as their lungs are still developing,” Poiriez said.
The MDAQMD grant will cover the entire cost of the three new All-Electric Model Blue Bird T3RE 3904s, two of which will be going to Apple Valley Unified School District (AVUSD) and the other finding a home with the Lucerne Valley Unified School District (LVUSD). The $1.3 million in grant funds is part of state incentives created through Assembly Bill 617, designed to identify the areas of most need for pollution reduction specific to individual communities.
“While working closely with the (MDAQMD) to acquire grant funding, we will be among the first in the High Desert to include electric buses as part of our regular home-to-school transportation,” said Douglas Smith, Director of Transportation for AVUSD. “We are proud to support improved air quality for our community and look forward to other opportunities to add clean air vehicles to our fleet.”
As part of the criteria in receiving the new zero-emission buses, the school districts will remove three old diesel school buses from their fleets (two from Apple Valley, one from Lucerne Valley).
“We appreciate the support of the Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District in helping us replace one of our aging buses,” said Peter Livingston, LVUSD’s Superintendent. “The grant will allow the Lucerne Valley Unified School District to put a new modern school bus into our fleet replacing one that is operating in its last days. We are excited to help reduce emissions and help to keep clean air in our beautiful Mojave Desert. On behalf of LVUSD we would like to extend a huge thank you to MDAQMD.”
MDAQMD is the air pollution control authority and permitting agency for the High Desert portion of San Bernardino County and the Palo Verde Valley in Riverside County. It’s governed by a board of 13 members representing nine incorporated municipalities and two counties within its boundaries. Visit mdaqmd.ca.gov or follow @MDAQMD on social media.