Miami-Dade County Public Schools will convert all their diesel school buses to all-electric models by the end of 2021. This change has great environmental and public health benefits, but it wouldn’t have happened without the help of Holly Thorpe, a local middle school student.
Thorpe created a science fair project on the benefit of electric vehicles and presented it to the school district board with a proposition to convert the local school buses to electric models. Among her research was the fact that carbon dioxide fumes inside the buses were 10 times more than the levels recommended by the EPA.
The school district plans to obtain funding for the transition from a federal grant. According to Michele Drucker, environmental chair of the Miami-Dade County PTSA Council, the school district has the financial flexibility to make the change, but Thorpe gave them the needed push to change their mindset on the issue.
Not only will the buses be safer for student health, reduce emissions, and create cleaner air, but the smooth electric drive will also allow drivers to monitor students more effectively in a quieter environment.
“Students know they will be faced with the dire consequences of climate change and they are the ones motivating the district to feel a sense of urgency and care about becoming the greenest, cleanest, most innovative, and most equitable school system it can be,” Drucker told Inhabitat.