The 20 Blue Bird Vision electric school buses are funded through a grant from Florida's Volkswagen Mitigation Settlement Trust fund.  -  Image: Blue Bird/Canva

The 20 Blue Bird Vision electric school buses are funded through a grant from Florida's Volkswagen Mitigation Settlement Trust fund.

Image: Blue Bird/Canva

Blue Bird Corporation is supplying Miami-Dade County (Florida) Public Schools with 20 electric school buses - the first zero-emission vehicles in the district's all Blue Bird fleet.

The Florida district is third largest in the United States, with more than 335,000 students and 50,000 adult learners. The milestone delivery represents a crucial step by the school district to shift to clean student transportation and to lower harmful greenhouse gas emissions contributing to climate change, according to a news release.

“Miami-Dade County Public Schools is excited to put its first 20 electric, zero-emission school buses into service signaling that we put our student and community health first,” said M-DCPS Superintendent Dr. Jose L. Dotres. “We are looking forward to a successful pilot program and to building on our decades-long relationship with Blue Bird, the district’s student transportation provider of choice.”

Blue Bird will provide its Vision electric school buses to M-DCPS. Each vehicle can carry 72 students for up to 120 miles on a single charge. M-DCPS plans to team up with Florida Power & Light, the largest power utility in the state, to install 50 DC fast-charging stations. Ten charging stations at the school district’s Southwest Transportation Facility should be operational by September 2023. Based on M-DCPS’ future charging infrastructure, the buses will take approximately six hours to recharge fully.

M-DCPS maintains an all Blue Bird bus fleet of nearly 1,000 vehicles. M-DCPS school buses travel more than 13,000 miles each school day, as they pick up and safely transport 40,000 students to and from schools.

M-DCPS received a $11.6 million grant from Florida’s Volkswagen Mitigation Settlement Trust fund to acquire Blue Bird’s school buses.

“This pilot program is a wonderful first step in the electrification of Miami-Dade’s fleet and improving the air quality for its students and the community at-large,” said Britton Smith, president of Blue Bird Corporation. “As the leader in zero- and low-emission school buses, we could not be more pleased to help a long-term and highly valued customer transition to electric buses and clean student transportation. We greatly appreciate the trust Miami-Dade County Public Schools has placed in Blue Bird and are looking forward to growing our relationship for many years to come.”

M-DCPS purchased its advanced electric vehicles through Blue Bird’s authorized and family-owned school bus dealer Florida Transportation Systems, Inc. in Tampa, Fla.

Originally posted on School Bus Fleet

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