Electric bus vendors selected for Vermont pilot program
The Agency of Natural Resources electric bus pilot program has moved into its next phase. The participating school districts and transit agency have selected their buses, which are due to arrive in Vermont at the end of 2021.
In December 2019, Barre Unified Union School District in partnership with their bus contractor, Student Transportation of America (STA); Champlain Valley School District; Franklin West Supervisory Union; and Marble Valley Regional Transit District (MVRTD, aka “The Bus”), were chosen from a competitive pool of applicants to receive Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust funds to test the use of electric buses in Vermont.
Each electric bus vendor was selected through a competitive process in the fall of 2020.
The school districts and STA reviewed the electric school bus proposals, and MVRTD and the Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTRANS) reviewed the transit bus proposals prior to making their vendor selections. Vermont Energy Investment Corp (VEIC) developed vehicle specifications and provided support throughout the vendor selection process.
Two of the school participants – STA with Barre Unified Union School District and Champlain Valley School District – selected The Lion Electric Company. Franklin West Supervisory Union selected Blue Bird buses. Marble Valley Regional Transit District selected Gillig. Each will receive two electric buses.
“This is an exciting milestone for this program,” said Peter Walke, commissioner of the Dept. of Environmental Conservation. “With more electric buses on Vermont roads we will have an opportunity to offer cleaner modes of transportation to students and public transit riders, while exploring our options for future investments in the health of our communities.”
“We were very pleased to see strong proposals from a majority of the manufacturers building electric school and transit bus models,” said Jennifer Wallace-Brodeur, director of clean transportation at VEIC. “Each of the selected vendors have a positive reputation and presented compelling proposals. We are thrilled to have this opportunity to test several bus models from different vendors, providing an excellent sample for us to assess the feasibility for a larger bus roll out in the future.”
VEIC as the program administrator will provide technical assistance to the schools and transit agency to prepare for the arrival of the buses and to measure their performance once they arrive and are in operation.