Victory for clean air + climate in Michigan!


August 8, 2023

MI Electric School Bus

Electric school buses are a major win for climate justice.

Last month, after intense pressure from Michiganders just like you, Michigan legislators approved Gov. Whitmer’s state budget with $125 million dedicated to electric school buses. The emails and phone calls of ACE supporters were a key part of this victory!

Over half a million Michigan students rely on buses as their primary mode of school transportation—that’s 34% of all students. And nearly all of Michigan’s 17,000 school buses are fueled by diesel, exposing those students to dangerous exhaust pollutants that can cause serious health complications like asthma.

We also know that nationwide, low-income and Black students are more likely to ride the bus to school, and therefore more likely to face additional exposure to air pollution by diesel bus exhaust. This is especially problematic when you consider that in the U.S., communities of color face on-road fine particulate matter pollution that is 61% to 75% higher than for white residents. Detroit currently leads the nation in asthma rates. 

In rural communities where families live miles and miles apart, buses are burning diesel fuel and pumping pollution into the air just to get to and from one student. Electric buses have demonstrated that have ranges of up to 210 miles for Type C buses; and all Type A, C and D buses listed offer over 100 miles of range, enough to cover most bus routes.

Electric school buses (ESBs) are safe and reliable, producing no tailpipe emissions and reducing students’ exposure to dangerous air pollutants. ESBs are already successfully operating in every type of community and all types of climates — including in the Zeeland and Oxford school districts of Michigan.

Over time, electric buses can save districts money on fuel and maintenance costs, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by two-to-four times compared to diesel- and propane-burning buses. 

ACE supporter’s pressure paid off and was crucial to passing the $125 million appropriation in the FY2024 State Budget for electric school buses. You helped ensure that 540,000+ Michigan students are better protected from dangerous air pollution and have a livable future.

Have you already ridden an electric school bus? Tell us! Will you get on one this fall? Tell us! If you are a student, or friend/family member of a student, we want to hear your story. Personal stories of your experience are powerful and vital to generating broader support.

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