First electric school bus arrives in Walla Walla
The first of three electric school buses for the Walla Walla Public Schools Transportation fleet arrived in Walla Walla this month. Walla Walla Public Schools is one of the first school districts in eastern Washington to add electric school buses to its operating fleet.
Community members are invited to get a close up look at this new modern marvel during a ribbon cutting ceremony Tuesday, May 30 at 10 a.m. at the SE Washington Transportation Cooperative (1162 Entley St., Walla Walla, WA 99362).
The district received an award from the Department of Ecology for its "Air Quality Clean Diesel Electric School Bus Grant” to fully fund the three electric buses and charging stations. Walla Walla Public Schools has partnered with Columbia Rural Electric Association to provide incoming power for the charging stations.
Electric school buses lower greenhouse gas emissions, reduce school operating expenses, create green manufacturing jobs, and support a more resilient grid powered by greater amounts of renewable energy. They have one-third of the moving parts of a diesel-powered bus and will require less maintenance. An electric bus can travel around 300 miles on a full charge in ideal driving conditions. School bus drivers and mechanics are receiving additional online and in-person, hands-on training from the bus dealer, Schetkey Northwest Bus and Van Sales.
Walla Walla Public Schools will begin using the electric school bus in late May for local bus routes. The remaining two buses are expected to arrive over the summer and will be operational next school year.