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5 Massachusetts School Districts Get $4.2M for Electric Buses

A handful of districts in Massachusetts will use money from the state’s Accelerating Clean Transportation School Bus Fleet Deployment Program to deploy new buses and charging stations.

A school bus outside of Holyoke High School in Massachusetts.
A Holyoke Public Schools bus passes by Holyoke High School Dean Campus on Main Street.
Hoang 'Leon' Nguyen/The Republican/TNS
(TNS) — Holyoke Public Schools will be getting a cleaner, greener bus fleet.

The public school district is one of five in the state to receive a share of a $4.2 million grant that would help to electrify bus fleets. The money, announced on Tuesday, comes through the state’s Accelerating Clean Transportation School Bus Fleet Deployment Program.

Many schools across the commonwealth have said that they want to reduce their carbon footprints, said Rebecca Tepper, the state’s secretary of energy and environmental affairs.

The bus fleet deployment program helps with providing planning, technical support and gap funding to state public school districts, according to a statement from the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center.

“When communities electrify their school bus fleets, they make air quality safer for students and entire neighborhoods,” said Emily Reichert, Massachusetts Clean Energy Center chief executive officer.

Highland Electric will use the program’s funding to deploy an electric school bus fleet and charging stations for Holyoke Public Schools, the statement said.

Holyoke Public Schools could not immediately be reached for comment.

This funding was the second round of financial assistance awarded by the state’s Department of Environmental Protection and Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs.

More than $16.5 million in ACT school bus funding has been awarded to public school districts around the state, according to a statement from the Clean Energy Center. Boston, Fall River, New Bedford and Worcester also received funding.

The transition to clean energy transportation will create “healthier communities and school environments, where kids and families can breathe clean air,” said Patrick Tutwiler, state secretary of education.

The center plans to release proposal requests for a third round of the ACT funding this April.

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