When Yellow Goes Green
In July, Fort Payne City Schools in Alabama became the very first school district in the southeast United States to purchase and receive 100% electric-powered school buses.
Acquired with the help of the Blue Bird Bus contract with Sourcewell, the purchase was made possible by Volkswagen settlement dollars received by the district.
Dr. Laran Crowe-Adkins, transportation director with the district, said the Fort Payne Board of Education voted in January to purchase four new Blue Bird school buses – two of which, electric powered. The 2021 Blue Bird Type D, 78-passenger T3RE 4006 buses were delivered in July and intended to be put into service as part of the bus fleet for the 2020-21 school year.
Dr. Crowe-Adkins shared about the experience and what led the district to go green.
Q&A with Dr. Laran Crowe-Adkins
Q: How and where did you first hear about the electric bus option available through Blue Bird?
A: From Chris Bible/Busworx at a summer conference in Alabama.
Q: Why did you decide to lead the way in purchasing not one, but two, of these buses?
A: We felt this would be the perfect time to introduce electric buses to our bus fleet. We know implementing the buses will be a learning curve but we are ready for the challenge.
Q: How have they been received in your district and community?
A: They have been received very well. Everyone is very excited about the opportunity to be the first public school system to implement electric buses.
Q: Do you have future plans to purchase more? Are you going green in other areas of transportation in your district?
A: We will see how the electric buses perform and then make the decision whether or not we will purchase more electric buses.
Q: Any other key highlights you want to share?
A: We are thankful for the opportunity to receive the Volkswagen grant which enabled us to purchase the electric buses.