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Electric buses coming to schools in Ypsilanti, Dearborn

One of Ypsilanti's new electric school buses.
Josh Hakala
89.1 WEMU
One of Ypsilanti's new electric school buses.

Two local school districts are adding electric buses to their fleets with funding from the federal government.

The school bus I’m riding in looks and feels like any school bus I’ve ever ridden in. Except that it’s eerily quiet.

That’s because it’s a zero-emission electric bus constructed by North Carolina-based Thomas Built Buses.

Before we took off, Mark Hoekstra, the CEO of Hoekstra Transportation, the distributor for the buses, spoke to the passengers. He says by eliminating diesel engine emissions, it will improve the health of students and the environment.

“This is truly a zero emissions bus. So, there’s everything from the HVAC system all the way down to the electric motor. Everything on this bus is 100% zero emission.”

Ypsilanti Community Schools will receive nearly $4 million to purchase 10 of these buses, while the Dearborn City School Districtwill purchase 18 at a price tag of just over $7 million.

The funding comes from the bipartisan infrastructure law.

The Ypsilanti buses are expected to be on the road by the fall of 2023.

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Josh Hakala is the general assignment reporter for the WEMU news department.
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