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First Student and Cincinnati Public Schools Win Funding to Deploy 25 Additional New Electric School Buses

First Student, the transportation partner for Cincinnati Public Schools (CPS), is bringing 25 more electric school buses to Cincinnati to better serve the district and its families, providing a cleaner, quieter and safer ride to school for hundreds of additional students. The company and CPS were recently awarded $8.625 million in grants to purchase the buses from the third round of funding for the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean School Bus Program.

With the latest route of funding, First Student will deploy a total of 35 new electric school buses for CPS, building on the $3.95 million secured from the second round of the EPA program in January 2024, which allowed for the purchase of 10 electric school buses. The Clean School Bus Program allocates funds for school districts to help cover the cost of replacing fossil fueled school buses with zero-emission vehicles.

"Cincinnati Public Schools is committed to providing safe, efficient transportation for our students and fostering sustainable systems to drive success," Cincinnati Public Schools Interim Superintendent Shauna Murphy said. "This continued investment for 25 additional electric school buses is a vital step toward sustainability, while enhancing the well-being of our students. Through our partnership with First Student, and dedication to eco-friendly transportation, we are reducing emissions and promoting a healthier environment for our students, families and the entire community."

The grant award is the result of a joint application to electrify the CPS bus fleet. First Student has been a transportation partner for the district for more than a decade, delivering innovative transportation solutions to meet the needs of thousands of families every school day.

“Cincinnati is our home, we could not be prouder to help CPS transform its school bus fleet, benefitting their students and our community,” said First Student CEO and President John Kenning. “The Environmental Protection Agency’s grant will help our wonderful partners at Cincinnati Public Schools accelerate the electrification of its school bus fleet. These buses will provide students with an exceptional experience, helping to ensure they arrive to school ready to learn and achieve their full potential, while also positively impacting the overall health and well-being of our community.”
The 35 new electric school buses will be deployed over the next 12 to 18 months. Replacing just one diesel school bus with an electric school bus can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 54,000 pounds each year.

First Student transports more students on electric school buses than any other transportation provider in North America. The company has successfully deployed more than 350 electric school buses in pursuit of its commitment to transition 30,000 diesel vehicles to electric by 2035.