Merkley, Wyden, Blumenauer, Bonamici, Salinas Announce More Electric School Buses Coming to Oregon

Washington, D.C. – Today, Oregon’s U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden, along with Representatives Earl Blumenauer (OR-03), Suzanne Bonamici (OR-01), and Andrea Salinas (OR-06), announced that federal funding is being awarded to seven Oregon school districts to help transition school bus fleets away from outdated diesel engines and toward new electric models. These electric buses to be used in the Beaverton, Gresham, Portland, Willamina, Amity, Dayton, and McMinnville school districts will be 90% more efficient at reducing pollutants than older engines.

“Every child—regardless of the color of their skin, their zip code, or how much money their parents make—should be able to travel to and from school without having to be exposed to toxins and dangerous air pollution that drives asthma and other diseases,” said Merkley. “This historic investment will secure support for several Oregon school districts to purchase electric school buses to keep the air cleaner for our kids and save school districts money. I’ll keep fighting for the investments and legislation we need to upgrade school bus fleets around Oregon.”

“In my many open-to-all town hall meetings throughout the state, I hear from Oregonians concerned about climate change, which is why I am a strong supporter of the Clean School Bus Program and authored historic clean energy provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act,” Wyden said. “These clean-bus resources will go a long way in increasing school transit services while helping to ensure a brighter future for our students.”

“Old, diesel school buses are a threat to air quality and the health and safety of our children,” said Rep. Blumenauer. “Our community is well positioned to help accelerate the transition to electrification and today’s grants are a reflection of our leadership in this vital effort. I’m hopeful that this is just the beginning of a cleaner, more efficient transportation system.”

“It’s exciting that Portland Public Schools and Beaverton School District students will be able to ride in clean school buses in the years to come because of funding from this program,” said Rep. Bonamici. “These buses reduce harmful air pollution and improve the health of students and the community.”

“Making the switch to cleaner, greener school buses is good for our children’s health and good for our environment,” said Rep. Salinas. “That’s why I’m excited to announce Oregon’s Sixth District will be receiving millions of dollars in Clean School Bus Awards, funding that will help the cities of Amity, McMinnville, Dayton, and Willamina purchase electric and low-emissions school buses. I’m grateful to the Biden Administration and the EPA for investing in Oregon’s future, and I look forward to seeing these dollars put to good use in our communities.”

The Clean School Bus Program, run by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), was instituted through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and will allocate $5 billion to overhaul the country’s school bus fleet. These awards will help accelerate the transition to low- and zero-emission vehicles—improving air quality, advancing environmental justice, boosting the economy, and creating good-paying jobs.

Oregon entities receiving funding can be found below:

  • Beaverton School District
  • First student, Inc, Gresham
  • First student, Inc, Portland
  • First student, Inc, Willamina
  • First student, Inc, Amity
  • First student, Inc, Dayton
  • First student, Inc, McMinnville