Pittsburg, CA — On Tuesday, the Pittsburg Unified School District’s (PUSD) transportation department rolled out a 78 passenger electric transit style school bus.
The new American made Blue Bird bus is the first electric transit style bus of its size certified by the California Highway Patrol to transport students in the Bay Area. The electric bus was purchased from A-Z Bus Sales with funds from Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) and the California Hybrid Vehicle Incentive Program (HVIP). HVIP is a bus voucher incentive program through the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and CALSTART. The new electric bus has zero emissions, quiet operation, up to 120 miles per charge, 78 passenger capacity, and requires much less maintenance than traditional diesel powered buses.
This vehicle is also the district’s third electric bus to be added to its fleet, which is made of 14 clean propane powered buses, 3 electric buses, and 6 smaller electric transportation vehicles.
The school district’s bus yard also hosts a self-sustained charging station that is generated by windmills and solar panels, reducing the cost of owning electric buses and the amount of greenhouse-gas emissions. Pittsburg Unified School District is currently the only school district in California to have a power charging station of this kind. The chargers and the infrastructure from the electric grid to the charging station was funded through a pilot program with PG&E.
“Pittsburg Unified is extremely proud to be a leader in green solutions for school transportation,” said Matt Belasco, Director of Maintenance, Operations, and Transportation, Pittsburg Unified School District. “Not only are our buses sustainable, they also are helping to decrease air pollution in our community. The air around our busses is now cleaner for our students and bus drivers. This new bus will be used to transport our children on field trips, sporting events, and activities”
Due to the district’s trailblazer efforts in school transportation industry, neighboring school districts are now following the lead in transitioning to cleaner school transportation options and powering solutions. In the future, Pittsburg Unified plans to add a 4th electric bus to its fleet as well as 3 smaller electric buses.
PUSD’s Sustainability Programs and Efforts Also Include:
- Construction of Parkside Elementary School, a Zero Net Energy School (ZNE) – project to be completed in December, 2020
- 2019 California Green Ribbon Schools Award
- 2019 Acterra Business Environmental Award (PUSD is the only school district in the state of California to receive this distinctive award)
- 2018 Green California Schools & Community Colleges Leadership Award
- 2018 Zero Net Energy Green California Schools and Community Colleges Leadership Award
- Green Ribbon School District with Gold Distinction from California Department of Education
- Golden Bell Award for District’s Garden Program from California School Board Association
- Board Policy establishing a Green School Operations and Sustainability policy
- Solar arrays at 15 of the District’s 17 locations
- 24 electric vehicle (EV) charging stations districtwide
- New EV bus charging stations in the works through PG&E pilot program
- Site Support Services Center acquired new beta solar panels over one-acre bioswale and 4 (10kW) wind generation units
- Learning Center is being built at bioswale for PUSD students
- All custodial cleaning products are green or green certified
- Idle-free program to discourage idling vehicles at school sites
- Farm-to-school fresh produce
- Active gardens at all K-12 school sites
- High percentage of recycle to waste ratio
- Composting food waste at most school sites
- Recycled water for irrigation at two school sites with third site planned
- Waterless urinals at all school sites and district facilities, each saving up to 40,000 gallons of water per year
About Pittsburg Unified School District
Video about PUSD: https://youtu.be/X2xn3HOavfM
Awarded the College Board’s Gaston Caperton Opportunity Honor Roll award in 2016 for expanding access to college, Pittsburg Unified School District (PUSD) is one of 130 school districts across the nation recognized for creating opportunities for traditionally underrepresented students. PUSD is a K-12 district serving the community of Pittsburg, California. Founded in 1933, the school system is committed to providing an excellent opportunity for all students to learn. Comprised of eight elementary schools, three junior high schools, one comprehensive high school, one alternative education high school, an adult school, independent study options, and a preschool program, the school district serves more than 11,300 students. PUSD is located in the San Francisco Bay Area, fifty minutes outside of downtown San Francisco.