Metro east school district adds electric buses


TROY, IL (KMOX) - When students in the Triad Community Unit School District #2 go back to class, hopefully in the fall, some of them may be doing so in electric buses.

The district is adding three electric buses, two of which are wheelchair equipped, to its fleet. Superintendent Leigh Lewis tells KMOX they will allow the district to run more efficient routes and allow students in wheelchairs to ride with their neighbors.

"Now, students with wheelchairs, we contract out for those buses," Lewis says. "Now, we can do some of that with our own fleet here and they can get on the bus in their neighborhood a regular bus with other kids in their neighborhood."

District Transportation Director Kevin McGraw says the electric buses could reduce maintenance costs by up to 80 percent.

"Obviously, no engines, nothing like that. We'll still have light bulbs. We'll still have tires. We'll still have brakes," McGraw says. "The nice thing with electric is they use regenerative braking, so we're expecting about 60-65 percent less wear on the brakes."

Lewis says the buses are also in line with what the district does to promote healthier lifestyles and protecting the environment. She says they may also increase ridership.

"We know that, in transportation, that kids riding on a bus for long period of time, on a noisy bus, sometimes parents decide not to put them on the bus so then they take them in their cars which creates traffic issues which create problems around schools," Lewis says.

The three buses are being paid for with a $658,000 grant.

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