Seize the opportunity to bring electric buses to the Granite School District

The Lightning-Collins Type A electric school bus. (Photo: Collins Bus Corporation)

In 2020 I moved from a small town in West Virginia to Taylorsville. I quickly learned the harsh reality of our air quality and the days when it is safe or not to be outside. Passionate about climate action and cleaning our air, I joined a coalition of students advocating for 100% clean energy in my school district of Granite.

Throughout high school, I learned about the effects of air pollution on my health and even on my ability to go to school. Research from the University of Utah shows that even a moderate inversion can double the number of school absences, and a very bad inversion can lead to almost four times the number of baseline absences. Students living on the west side of Salt Lake often experience higher levels of air pollution and therefore higher levels of school truancy.

The good news is that clean energy solutions can improve indoor and outdoor air quality, making our schools and communities a safer place.

Right now, school districts have the option to apply for a $500 million grant from the EPA to replace older gas-powered buses with electric school buses. The Granite School District has until August 19 to apply.

Electric buses can reduce the pollution that children and bus drivers breathe in while reducing maintenance and operating costs for schools. Please voice your support for electric buses by calling the Granite School District Transportation Office at 385-646-4280. We must prioritize protecting the health of current and future generations of the Granite School District.

Amanda Merrill, Salt Lake City

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