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Los Angeles Unified To Invest In Nation’s Largest Single-Purchase of New Electric School Buses and Electric Chargers Owned and Operated by a School District (05-02-23)

CONTACT: Jonathan Fu 

May 2, 2023

Los Angeles Unified To Invest In Nation’s Largest Single-Purchase
of New Electric School Buses and Electric Chargers Owned and Operated by a School District

District to Fully Electrify Sun Valley Bus Yard with the Purchase
of 180 New Electric Buses and Chargers By 2026

Los Angeles, CA (May 2, 2023) – In alignment with Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho’s 2022-26 Strategic Plan, Los Angeles Unified has committed to the complete electrification of the Sun Valley Bus Yard by 2026, significantly reducing carbon emissions and promoting sustainable transportation for students. As part of this commitment, Los Angeles Unified will move aggressively to purchase 180 electric buses, chargers and appropriate electric infrastructure to fully electrify the site, representing the largest single-purchase of new electric school buses, chargers and electric infrastructure in the nation that is owned and operated by a school district.

“We must fully commit ourselves to creating a model of sustainability that benefits our students, our school communities and generations to come,” Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho said. “This aggressive timeline to fully electrify the Sun Valley Bus Yard with 180 electric buses and chargers by 2026 reinforces our commitment to pursue any and all means necessary to reduce our impact on the environment. Los Angeles Unified is leading the charge to a more sustainable future with this important investment.”

One of the District’s central transportation hubs, the Sun Valley Bus Yard, currently serves the northern portion of Los Angeles Unified, transporting 4,600 students daily with approximately 180 buses. The yard currently relies on a large fleet of school buses powered by compressed natural gas, with a select number of gasoline and propane-fueled buses in the fleet. The facility also features six electric school buses and chargers as the District prepares to deploy this technology at scale.


Electric buses


With the purchase of 180 electric buses, this investment is anticipated to remove 780,000 tons of carbon dioxide from the environment per year. This investment is also expected to save a yearly average of $10,000 per bus in maintenance and fuel costs when compared to conventionally-powered school buses for a total savings of $2 million per year.

Planning and engineering for this project is currently underway, with a request for funding that will be presented to the Los Angeles Unified Board of Education in late 2023. Construction is expected to begin in late 2024.

To expedite the process, Los Angeles Unified will utilize an in-house team of transportation and infrastructure specialists dedicated to moving this project to completion. The District has already initiated the review process and begun discussions with the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power to supply the site with additional electrical capacity.

The project will also feature site enhancements to the Sun Valley Bus Yard, including a new perimeter wall and a greening element to promote operational effectiveness, security and sustainability. The District will also explore the possibility of installing solar panels at the facility. These enhancements will build upon the District’s existing work to promote sustainability at Sun Valley, including the removal of all diesel buses in September 2022. This modernized facility will allow the District to explore the option of utilizing the Sun Valley Bus Yard as a learning environment for its adult education program.

As construction begins, Los Angeles Unified will modify its transportation operations to minimize any impact on student transportation services. The District will also pursue all avenues to ensure minimal disruptions to the Sun Valley community

The Sun Valley Bus Yard Electrification Project is being developed in accordance with a resolution adopted by the Los Angeles Unified Board of Education in 2019. This resolution commits the District to achieving 100% clean, renewable energy in its electricity sector by 2030 and in all energy sectors – including heating, ventilation, air conditioning, cooking and transportation – by 2040.

“Expanding our fleet of electric school buses is one of the most critical steps the District can take not only to reduce our carbon emissions but also to improve student safety,” Board President Jackie Goldberg said. “I am thrilled the District is moving in this direction and I look forward to further ways we can make our infrastructure and spaces more green.”

“The investment that Los Angeles Unified is making in ensuring Sun Valley Bus Yard is one more proof that we are committed to make sure our transportation system meets our commitment to sustainability while significantly reducing costs,” Board Vice President Scott M. Schmerelson said. “It's a win-win!”

“Investing in the future of clean energy now will pay dividends later, helping us save money and the planet,” Board Member Dr. George J. McKenna III said.

“This investment is an important step forward in the urgent work of greening our schools, our communities and our District,” Board Member Dr. Rocío Rivas said. “Transportation is a key focus because older school buses expose our students to deadly diesel particulate matter. Prioritizing clean transportation means we are prioritizing the health of our students and the health of our environment, while also creating good jobs for workers.”

“As Los Angeles Unified works to meet the ambitious sustainability commitments set forth by the Board, I’m glad to see this important step in ensuring the successful electrification of our bus fleet,” Board Member Nick Melvoin said. “I look forward to watching this project, along with many more of our sustainable investments, come to fruition to create a greener future for our kids, families, and school communities.”

“Today we are making a bold commitment to prioritize the Sun Valley Bus Yard and invest in a greener, more sustainable future,” Board Member Kelly Gonez said. “This announcement has been years in the making, and I have been glad to work alongside the Sun Valley community to push for a change that will benefit students, bus drivers, educators and the public as a whole.”

“I am proud to support Los Angeles Unified’s commitment to sustainable transportation,” Board Member Tanya Ortiz Franklin said. “It is essential for the District to continue working towards environmental injustices for the safety and health of our students, families, and community.”

For the most up-to-date information, please follow Los Angeles Unified on Twitter @laschools and @lausdsup, Instagram at @laschools and @lausdsup and Facebook at @laschools and @AlbertoMCarvalho1.