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“Experience Centers” in Albany, New York, Sacramento, California, Los Angeles, and Seattle, with plans for more nationwide. “These are community spaces where trans- portation professionals and anyone else can see various chargers, drive an electric bus, and learn from other dis- tricts which have experience with electric buses,” he added. Lion is also building a team that is dedicated to advis- ing schools on building their charging infrastructure. These project managers and electrical engineers have the knowledge to help districts go from an idea to a plan that works for each individual district. “By providing support, starting from where the buses are


parked to which charger is best, will help make each de- ployment successful,” said Pagé. “The market for charging stations is growing, and there are dozens of potential sup- pliers to choose from. These need to be matched with the district needs, with suitable aftermarket support.” Pagé also pointed out that there are companies that


offer a complete turn-key solution. “The solution should match the district’s expectations. If the school needs a bus to do a morning and afternoon route of 100-miles, the charging infrastructure will have to provide that


much power. Electric buses should adapt to the route, not the other way around,” he advised. Childers said that the Thomas “Jouley” electric buses


use only DC charging options. The buses can charge in about three hours with the Proterra 60 kW DC fast charging system and can supply power back to the power grid using vehicle to grid (V2G) technology. Cleaner, more sustainable fuels that not only reduce


greenhouse gases, but keep America’s school children healthier, are becoming a more viable option as grants and other funding helps to defray initial costs. However, the industry still has a long way to go to help small, rural districts have cleaner, greener buses for their students. “It’s going to take many years, especially after


COVID-19, to catch up to larger districts that have more money,” said a Rocky Mountain region student trans- porter, who wished to remain anonymous. “The EPA may hand out funds to replace older diesel buses, but these funds aren’t enough to do much more than help replace an old diesel with a newer diesel. We’re a very small town facing substantial budget cuts already. We don’t have the resources to put in any type [of] infrastructure.”●


HENRY NEVER RIDES ALONE TO SCHOOL, ALWAYS WITH AN AIDE.ALC IS HIS SCHOOL DISTRICT’S


THE POWER of PARTNERSHIPS alternative student transportation provider.


ALC WITH MORE THAN A DECADE OF EXPERIENCE TRANSPORTING VULNERABLE STUDENTS, UTILIZES THE SAME DRIVER AND VEHICLE TO TO TRANSPORT HENRY AND HIS AIDE.


For HENRY'S district, ALC has been instrumental in reopening schools by meeting the varying degrees of transportation challenges that came with it.


Like Henry, ALC knows how important a partner is for going back-to-school


www.a lcschools.com/ partn er www.stnonline.com 37


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