Broward public schools going “green” with new electric buses
CBS | By CBS Miami Team | April 27, 2023
FORT LAUDERDALE – Broward County Public Schools is going green with its yellow school buses.
It will be the first school district in South Florida to put electric buses on the road.
On Thursday, they showed off the new buses at a transportation terminal in Pompano Beach.
The district said the new buses will help lower carbon emissions as it transports 54,000 students throughout the county every school day.
“When these electric buses hit Broward County roads in the 2023/24 school year, our District will be operating the largest fleet of electric buses in the state and, most significantly, taking an important step toward providing a healthier environment for all of us,” said Interim Superintendent Dr. Earlean Smiley in a statement. “This great accomplishment would not have been possible without the support of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and Florida Power & Light Company.”
The 60 electric buses were made possible thanks to a $14.8 grant from the state’s Department of Environmental Protection. Each electric bus is a standard 72-passenger vehicle that produces no emissions at the tailpipe and is quiet on the road.
To complete the needed infrastructure, Florida Power & Light Company obtained a federal grant and partnered with the BCPS to install charging stations at each of the district’s transportation terminals.
“This right here charges 30 kilowatts an hour and within three and a half hours it’ll be fully charged,” said Tommy Fitzpatrick, the district’s manager of fleet maintenance.
He said each charge allows the bus to travel for 120 miles. On average, each route in the morning and each afternoon is about 80 miles, so he said there’s plenty of time in between to charge them.
The new buses will serve as replacements for older diesel school buses built in or before 2009.
The school district’s Student Transportation and Fleet Services Department includes more than 1,200 buses, with about 950 used to transport students during daily routes.