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Puerto Rico Dept. of Education gets $9.9M to buy 25 electric school buses

The Puerto Rico Department of Education will get nearly $9.9 million through the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean School Bus Program rebate competition, with which it will buy more than 25 clean school buses that will accelerate the transition to zero emissions vehicles and produce cleaner air in and around schools and communities.

The Department of Education will receive the clean school buses from Transporte Sonnell LLC, which will operate the fleet.

“Today’s historic investment will put [more than] 25 clean school buses on the streets of Puerto Rico, ensuring clean, breathable air that all children throughout the island deserve,” said EPA Regional Administrator Lisa F. Garcia.

“This is an investment in our future, and thanks to the Biden-Harris Administration, Puerto Rico and our Region is well on its way to upgrading its school bus fleet,” she said.

In May, EPA announced the availability of $500 million for its Clean School Bus Program. Given overwhelming demand from school districts across the country, including in low-income communities, Tribal nations, and territories, EPA nearly doubled the amount of funding that will be awarded to $965 million.

The rebate application period closed in August with an “outstanding response” from school districts seeking to purchase electric and low-emission school buses across the country, the agency noted.

At this time, the agency has selected 389 applications totaling $913 million to support the purchase of 2,463 buses, 95% of which will be electric. More applications are under review, and the agency plans to select more to reach the full $965 million in the coming weeks.

Those school districts that received an award can now proceed with purchasing new buses and eligible infrastructure, the EPA stated. The agency is partnering with the US Department of Energy and Department of Transportation “to provide school districts with robust technical assistance to ensure effective implementation,” it stated.

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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