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SRVUSD to apply for new, low emission buses

The San Ramon Valley Unified School District's Board of Education will vote to approve an application for five new buses on April 12.

The district will submit an application for the $5 million Lower Emission School Bus Program (LESBP) grant, administered by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District and California Air Resources Board.

"It's important that we participate in cleaning up the air in our community and getting these older diesel engines off the road," said SRVUSD Transportation Director Sheri Glaser. " We want to…enhance the air quality of the East Bay and reduce the exposure of small children to emissions."

The LESBP aims to reduce emissions of particulate matter, oxides of nitrogen and non-methane hydrocarbons, which contribute to summertime smog. Grant money will be available to replace 1993 and older buses with clean school buses and to retrofit 1987 and newer in-use diesel school buses with emission control devices.

The school district currently runs 30 small and 12 large buses, five of which were built in 1993 or earlier. At approximately $140,000 a bus, Glaser said she hopes the district will be in the running for the grant.

While the district provides schools with smaller buses for special education students and full-size vehicles for field trips, home-to-school transport buses within SRVUSD will remain parent-pay based.

"For quite some time we've continued to look into (free buses), but the problem is we can't afford it. When it actually comes down to people putting their kids on a bus and paying for it, it's easier said than done," said SRVUSD Communications Coordinator Terry Koehne, adding that the district has had to cancel routes.

Applications for the grant are due on Friday, April 29 and grants will be awarded on June 10. The Bay Area Air Quality Management District did not return queries on the number of grant applicants.

The Board of Education will meet next on Tuesday, April 12 at 7 p.m.

Comments

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Duffy
a resident of Danville
on Apr 6, 2011 at 10:48 am

The program is no doubt worthwhile, if not for the children on the bus at least for those in the car behind inhaling the diesel fumes. It is interesting to note the "mindset" that generates the comment "free buses." No, they are not free - they are taxpayers money laundered through Washington and back to the local community.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Kate
a resident of Danville
on Apr 6, 2011 at 11:48 am

That's great....now could you please send a bus to Montair school to help with the problem of too many parents parking in the middle of the street to pick up their kids. Neighbors in this area are really fed up with this situation!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by guynextdoor
a resident of Danville
on Apr 8, 2011 at 10:14 am

What's wrong with the buses we have? Are they worn out? How much of the taxpayors' money is the District spending just to go green. Remember there is no anthropogenic climate change.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Pedal Power
a resident of Danville
on Apr 9, 2011 at 2:06 pm

As Duffy points out, there is no such thing as a free bus and, in today's economic climate, that $700,000 new bus cost could probably be better spent.

But reducing pollution for people in the following cars could be counter-productive. The air for the children inside the bus should be just fine so maybe use the pumped out smog to drive kids out of their parents' cars into the bus.

One thing, if it hasn't already been done, is making sure all buses have seat belts.

Lastly, I feel for Montair school's neighbor Kate. I cannot imagine why parents feel obligated to sit in stop-start traffic for 1/4 mile so they can deliver their child precisely to the school, then stopping in the middle of the street is particularly rude. Our two kids were perfectly happy to be dropped within half a block then be able to walk faster than their car-confined class-mates.


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