Pritzker Administration Awards Over $4.2 Million in Grants Providing 17 Electric School Buses in Chicagoland and Metro-East
SPRINGFIELD -Illinois EPA Director John J. Kim today announced more than $4.2 million in grant awards to school districts and student transportation companies in the Chicago and Metro-East regions. The funding will go toward the purchase of all-electric school buses and the necessary charging infrastructure serving 15 schools in areas of the state with greater air quality concerns.
"The VW Settlement provides Illinois with a tremendous opportunity to lead the nation in clean transportation, furthering my administration's ongoing commitment to address the impacts of climate change in our communities," said Governor JB Pritzker. "This $4.2 million investment will allow school districts to provide an eco-friendly transportation option for local students, improving air quality and bringing more electric vehicles to Illinois roads."
"The Volkswagen (VW) Settlement funding has provided us a unique opportunity to drive Illinois closer to zero-emission school and public transportation and infrastructure. We are excited to see growing interest from school districts and transportation companies to move toward all-electric transportation for our students and communities," said Director Kim. "The Illinois EPA will continue to administer the VW Settlement dollars to benefit the areas of the state and populations most vulnerable to air pollution."
The grant awards are funded by VW Settlement dollars provided through Illinois EPA's Driving a Cleaner Illinois Program. Illinois EPA announced the third and latest funding opportunity in 2021 seeking applicants to electrify school buses in the Chicago and Metro-East regions of the State.
The Driving a Cleaner Illinois Program was designed to improve air quality in Illinois primarily by removing old diesel engines from service. Illinois EPA announced the first round of VW Settlement funding in December 2018, which included an all-electric school bus pilot project in Cook County. The second round of VW Settlement funding was announced in September 2019 for all-electric school bus projects in Madison County. The funding is part of the State's allocation of $108 million received from the multi-billion-dollar VW Settlement after it was
discovered Volkswagen installed emissions cheating software in certain diesel vehicles. The Illinois EPA's Driving a Cleaner Illinois webpage contains additional information on the VW Settlement and the Driving a Cleaner Illinois Program: https://www2.illinois.gov/epa/topics/air-quality/driving-a-cleaner-illinois/Pages/default.aspx
The grant recipients receiving funds for all-electric school buses include:
# Electric Buses:
Compass Transportation - Evanston/Skokie School District 65
Joseph E. Hill Early Childhood Education Center - Head Start Program
Barrington Transportation - Barrington CUSD #220
Barrington High School
Cook, Lake, McHenry
First Student - Schaumburg School District 54
Keller Junior High School
Huntley Consolidated School District 158
Chesak Elementary School, Mackben Elementary School, Marlowe Middle School, and Huntley High School
First Student - Township High School District 214
Rolling Meadows High School
Wauconda CUSD 118
Wauconda Grade School and Cotton Creek Elementary
First Student - Lake Park Community High School District 108
Lake Park High School
River Trails School District #26
Triad CUSD 2
CA Henning School
First Student - Edwardsville CUSD 7
Nelson Elementary School
First Student - Collinsville CUSD 10
Kreitner Elementary School