Speaking at an event at the City of Falls Church’s new Meridian High School last Friday, Vice President Harris announced the availability of $500 million in funding from the $5 billion Clean School Bus Program that was established by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
The announcement was made by the Vice President during an event that included EPA Administrator Michael Regan, Infrastructure Coordinator Mitch Landrieu and U.S. Congressmen Don Beyer and Gerry Connolly.
While at Meridian High School, the Vice President toured three new electric school buses and received a briefing from manufacturers, educators and students before delivering remarks making the announcement. She noted that school buses are our nation’s largest form of mass transit, with 25 million kids riding one of the nation’s nearly 500,000 school buses each day, nearly all of which are diesel buses that emit millions of tons of greenhouse gases each year.
These buses also cause pollution linked to asthma and other health issues that cause students to miss school. But we know that electric and zero-emission school buses eliminate the greenhouse gas and particulate pollution that harm our communities and our planet. That is why, as a Senator, she said that she led the Clean School Bus Act, the first bill to focus exclusively on zero emission school buses. Since taking office, she has made it a point to highlight the importance of transitioning to zero-emission vehicles, emphasizing the benefits of good jobs, cleaner air, and reduced costs.
As part of this, she visited an electric school bus manufacturer in High Point, North Carolina, met with public transit districts working to electrify their fleets in Cincinnati, Ohio, and Charlotte, North Carolina, visited with an electric semi-truck driver in New York City, and more.
With Friday’s announcement, $500 million is now available for school districts and other eligible school bus operators and contractors to begin replacing the nation’s fleet of school buses with clean, American-made, zero-emission buses.
This $500 million is the first round of funding out of the unprecedented $5 billion investment for low and zero-emission school buses over the next five years, and it represents yet another step the Biden-Harris Administration is taking to invest in American manufacturing, protect the health of our communities and tackle the climate crisis.
Attending today’s event were, in addition to U.S. Representatives Don Beyer, who represents Falls Church, and Gerry Connolly, members of the Falls Church City Council and School Board, including Superintendent Peter Noonan and State Del. Marcus Simon.