Coalition Rallies to Urge LAUSD to Electrify School Bus Fleet

Ashley Michel Flores, of L.A. Alliance for a New Economy, speaking at today's rally for electric school buses. Photo by Joe Linton/Streetsblog
Ashley Michel Flores, of L.A. Alliance for a New Economy, speaking at today's rally for electric school buses. Photo by Joe Linton/Streetsblog

This afternoon, the L.A. County Electric Truck and Bus Coalition held a rally urging the L.A. United School District to electrify its fleet of school buses.

LAUSD Boardmember Nick Melvoin kicked off the rally calling on his agency invest in electric buses for kids’ lungs, good union jobs, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and more.

LAUSD Boardmember Nick Melvoin
LAUSD Boardmember Nick Melvoin speaking at electric school bus rally.

Yasmine Agelidis, environmental attorney at Earthjustice, noted that LAUSD has only purchased 71 electric school buses for a 1,300+ vehicle fleet. “At the rate that we’re going” stated Agelidis, “it will take 55 years to get us a clean bus fleet.” The coalition is urging the LAUSD to adopt a resolution committing the district to full electrification by 2035.

Agelidis referenced a UC Berkeley study that found students were breathing in high levels of tailpipe pollution inside Southern California diesel school buses.

Joe Sullivan, Director of Energy Solutions for the International Brotherhood of Electric Workers (IBEW) and the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA), spoke of the unprecedented grant funding available under the Biden federal infrastructure bill. Sullivan and others stressed the need for electrification to include high road careers, both in manufacturing buses and in installing electric bus charging infrastructure.

At the end of the rally, assembled supporters walked across the street to give pro-electrification testimony during general public comment at the LAUSD board meeting.

To access an Earthjustice alert for supporting LAUSD bus electrification, readers can text “electric” to 43428.

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Before this morning’s Metro board meeting, a coalition rallied for fully electrifying Metro’s 2,200 bus fleet by the year 2030. In March, Metro is expected to approve a procurement for 1,000 new compressed natural gas (CNG) buses. The coalition is campaigning to block the expected CNG bus purchase. Organizations in the coalition include Food & Water […]