AB 579 (Ting) Schoolbuses electrification

Smith electric school bus
Smith electric school bus. Image by Laura Gilchrist | Flickr

Existing law authorizes state funds to be distributed to the Superintendent of Public Instruction for distribution to certain local educational agencies for the purchase of low- or zero-emission schoolbuses that replace, or increase the number of, schoolbuses in the existing schoolbus fleet or for retrofitting existing schoolbuses to achieve reductions in emissions.

This bill would require, commencing January 1, 2035, 100% of all newly purchased or contracted schoolbuses of a school district, county office of education, or charter school to be zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs), where feasible. The bill would, in order to comply with that requirement, authorize local educational agencies to request a one-time extension for a term not to exceed 5 years if a local educational agency determines that the purchase or contracting of a zero-emission schoolbus is not feasible due to both terrain and route constraints, provided that certain conditions are met. To the extent this requirement imposes additional duties on local educational agencies in connection with federally required pupil transportation services that go beyond the requirements in federal law, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

Existing law requires a continuing contract for pupil transportation services in school districts or schoolbus lease or rental to not exceed a 5-year term, or for a schoolbus lease or rental contract containing a purchase or cancel option, as specified, not to exceed a 10-year term.

This bill would, for the furnishing of transportation of pupils in school districts to and from school using schoolbuses that are ZEVs and for the lease or rental of schoolbuses that are ZEVs, extend the term limit to 15 years for a continuing contract and to 20 years for a schoolbus lease or rental contract containing a purchase or cancel option. The bill would also apply these contracting provisions to county offices of education and charter schools.

Full Bill Text and related information.

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