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Fort Payne City Schools buys electric buses

The school superintendent says the buses will be ready to go by next school year.

Posted: Jan 30, 2020 8:05 PM
Updated: Jan 30, 2020 8:28 PM

The Fort Payne City school district is getting electric buses.

Superintendent Jim Cummingham says they'll be ready to go by next school year.

The buses will hold 78 students and run 100 miles per charge.

"That's the direction we are going in," Olivur Crawley, whose child goes to Fort Payne Middle School, said.

Crawley says he wasn't surprised when he heard about the decision.

"Everything is going green now anyways," Crawley said.

Cunningham says the purchase is something he's discussed for almost 2 years.

The school board approved buying 2 low emission diesel buses and 2 electric buses for more than a million dollars. It makes the school district one of the first public school systems in the state to have fully electric school buses.

"It says something about our community willing to take steps to improve," another parent, Todd Blancett, said.

The purchase was pre-approved by the state.

The superintendent says they were able to buy the buses with state grant money they got from the Volkswagen emissions settlement. That's after the company admitted to violating the u.S. Clean air act by misleading people about their vehicles' emissions.

Parents say they're just glad the school is keeping the environment in mind.

"I think any time you can do anything to improve the environment, maintain and preserve it. I think it's a good move," Blancett said.

Crawley says he doesn't doubt that students will love the new buses as well.

"Students have an open mind about everything. They are all about the latest things, the latest technology, so i think it's a plus for them also," Crawley said.

It will take about six months for the school district to get the buses.

Fort Payne's superintendent says the school has to build the charging stations for the buses.

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