Grant pays for bus, District purchasing charging equipment

The Taft City School District is getting an electric school bus.
Superintendent Julie Graves said last week the District received word that its grant application has been approved for one bus and for the infrastructure to charge it.

"(The District is) in the process of final approval and purchase of the bus as well as the purchase and installation of the charging station." Graves said.
The District Board of trustees approved a resultion authorizing the application for the grant in 2019 on the recommendation of Director of Maintenance, Operations and Transportation Tommy Aguilera.

He saw the electric buses in action and rode on one in a demonstration at the Kern County Superintendent Office in Bakersfield.

He said it ran just like the traditional diesel buses.

"You didn't feel any difference," Aguilera said. "We took it out on the freeway, we took it up hill."

The buses can only operate for up to 100 miles without recharging, so the District plans to keep diesel buses for longer trips.

The grant comes through the California Energy Commission School Bus Replacement Program which offers grants to replace old diesel buses with new, cleaner running electric vehicles that save a considerable amount of money on fuel.