WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A western Massachusetts bus company will receive new “clean” school buses through President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Clean School Bus program will award $29,570,000 to purchase 76 “clean” school buses with the goal of accelerating the transition to zero-emissions vehicles and helping produce cleaner air around schools and communities.

“President Biden’s historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is accelerating our nation’s transition to electric and low-emission school buses while ensuring a brighter, healthier future for our children,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “As many as 25 million children rely on the bus to get to school each day. Thanks to the Biden-Harris Administration, we are making an unprecedented investment in our children’s health, especially those in communities overburdened by air pollution. This is just the beginning of our work to build a healthier future, reduce climate pollution, and ensure the clean, breathable air that all our children deserve.”

Funding for school buses awarded to the following:

  • West Springfield/Lower Pioneer Valley Educational Collaborative: 25 school buses, $9,875,000
  • City of Fall River: 11 school buses, $3,895,000
  • Bourne/Upper Cape Cod Regional Vocational Technical School District: one school bus, $395,000
  • New Bedford: 14 school buses, $5,530,000
  • Lawrence: 25 school buses, $9,875,000

The Lower Pioneer Valley Educational Collaborative offers everything from career technical education to special education. Roland Joyal is the Executive Director of Lower Pioneer Valley Educational Collaborative, he said they also operate four garages and 250 vehicles. This new investment will help them offer a green way for students to get around.

“Busing is about half of our operation here at the Lower Pioneer Valley Educational Collaborative. We run buses for our seven districts. And we run all their things from going to and from school, to sporting events, field trips, you name it,” said Joyal.

Funding will also go towards putting in place new electric charging stations for the buses and training drivers how to use them. They’re hoping to have the new buses on the road by next school year.

“Students shouldn’t have to breathe dirty air on their ride to school,” said U.S. Senator Edward Markey. “I applaud the EPA’s latest efforts to use funding passed by Congress to support the deployment of dozens of clean school buses to districts educating more than 30,000 of our Commonwealth’s students. A safe, clean ride to school is critical for students’ health. Clean school buses will mean more learning and less fossil fuel burning.”

“I am excited that five school districts across Massachusetts will be receiving nearly $30 million to replace existing school buses with clean, low-emissions ones. This funding, provided by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, will help protect our children and members of the community from diesel emissions, reduce maintenance costs, and work towards our climate goals,” said Senator U.S. Elizabeth Warren.

A total of $500 million was available for the Clean School Bus Program through the EPA. After a growing demand from school districts across the country, the EPA nearly doubled the funds to $965 million. Nearly 400 applicants across the country will receive clean school buses, 95 percent of which will be electric.

This is just the first $1 billion spent through a five-year, $5 billion program created by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The next round of programs will be announced by the EPA in the coming months.