STN EXPO Indianapolis Session to Tackle Implementation of Electric School Buses

May 13, 2022 | News

Kenni Jean Schrader, the transportation director for Three Rivers Community Schools in Michigan, said her core value is to develop strong foundation relationships in everything she does, both professionally and personally. For example, she is dedicated to providing a culture of safe transportation and value for students and staff, improving the environment in which students learn and creating goodwill throughout our community.

One way Three Rivers is achieving that is with two electric school buses, which have saved nearly $43,000 in combined fuel and maintenance savings (about a 50-percent split) since being deployed in January 2020. The district is one of seven in Michigan to acquire the first 17 electric school buses via the Volkswagen Mitigation Trust Fund. Schrader will be sharing her insights during a panel at STN EXPO Indianapolis on June 5.

Also invited is Alex Cook, the chief engineer for First Student, which is undergoing the largest electrification project across North America.

Joining the panel is also Scott Wing, the transportation manager for Cedar Rapids Community School District in Iowa. Since 2019, he led the district’s effort to upgrade the fleet of older, diesel vehicles by securing nearly $1.5 million in funding from Iowa’s Volkswagen Mitigation Trust. The district partnered with a local electricity supplier Alliant Energy, which is also exploring V2G. Their main goal was to pilot two electric buses that were the newest tech with 125KW charging. Despite delays in receiving the electric buses, Wing will be speaking about a pending pilot test and lessons learned to date

In Illinois, districts are also looking to electrify their fleets and have access to not only the federal funds but Volkswagen settlement funds. Susan Mudd, a senior policy advocate at the Chicago-based Environmental Law & Policy Center and cofounder of Women Accelerating School Bus Electrification, is facilitating the panel. Her work has included consulting with local school districts on their electric school bus needs, including funding. One such district is Bellwood School District 88 on Chicago’s south side. Transportation Director Tyreese Stafford will speak about his district’s experience in setting up a school bus electrification project.

The session is scheduled for 2:45 to 4 p.m. Eastern on June 5 at the Indiana Convention Center. Register online through Friday, May 13. Onsite registration will also be available, starting June 3.

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