In late July, Tampa Bay Clean Cities Coalition hosted the “Clean Fuel School Bus Expo” in partnership with Florida Transportation Systems, Inc. at the Florida State Fairgrounds. Attendees heard from Hillsborough County Public Schools on planning for electric school buses and considerations for charging infrastructure from Tampa Electric. AmeriGas Propane and ROUSH CleanTech also presented on the benefits of powering school buses with propane autogas. The coalition was honored to have Dale Aspy from the EPA present to attendees on how to take advantage of the EPA Clean School Bus funding opportunity. Following the presentations, attendees were invited to hop behind the wheel of a battery electric and propane school bus.
Alternative fuel school buses, such as those that run on CNG, propane, and battery electric technologies, are more fuel efficient compared to diesel and gasoline buses, produce lower emissions and help to improve air quality. Electric school buses offer a cleaner ride for students, and as part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, Congress has authorized $5 billion for alternative fuel school buses (including electric) and charging infrastructure through the EPA’s Clean School Bus Program. The first round of funding ($500M) is available, and EPA is accepting applications through August 19.