MODESTO, Calif. (CBS, KYMA/KECY) - Modesto City Schools is turning from yellow to green for the new school year, revamping the average school bus.
"Unlike other districts to the north of us, to the south of us, we did not have any sustainability initiatives, and so we took a leap," said Tim Zearley, Associate Superintendent for Modesto City Schools.
30 new electric school buses have rolled onto Modesto roads, helping bring students to and from school without the use of gas.
"Now‘s the time. In 2035, there is legislation that diesel school buses will no longer be allowed on the roads," Zearley shared.
Step towards battling climate change
Making this change now will save more than $250,000 dollars in fuel costs annually, lowering carbon emissions in a step towards battling climate change.
"We do see the effects, here in Central California, of changes in the climate and so hopefully what we are doing will be a small part, but will be our part here in Stanislaus County and Modesto to address those issues," Zearley explained.
The $14 million fleet made possible through state grants and partnerships with local electric companies in Stanislaus County, using electric carports and solar panels as fuel.
"That provides the necessary power we are using to power our batteries on the buses so we are actually supporting the local electric grid," Zearley detailed.
Paving the way to greener schools and community.
"Reduce our carbon footprint and combat air pollution. Our school district and our community drives the projects we have going on and that you see today," Zearley remarked.