Letter: Seize the opportunity to bring electric buses to Granite School District

The Lightning-Collins electric Type A school bus. (Photo: Collins Bus Corporation)

In 2020 I moved from a small town in West Virginia to Taylorsville. I quickly learned about the harsh reality that is our air quality, and days when it is safe or not safe to be outside. Passionate about climate action and cleaning up our air, I joined a student coalition advocating for 100% clean energy in my home school district of Granite.

Throughout high school, I’ve learned about the effects of air pollution on my health and even my ability to go to school. Research from the University of Utah shows that even a moderate inversion can double the amount of school absences, and a really bad inversion can result in nearly four times the number of baseline absences. Students living on the west side of Salt Lake often experience higher levels of air pollution and therefore higher levels of school absences.

The good news is that clean energy solutions can improve indoor and outdoor air quality, making our schools, and communities, a safer place.

Right now, there is an opportunity for school districts to apply for a $500 million grant by EPA to replace older gas buses with electric school buses. Granite School District has until August 19 to apply.

Electric buses can cut down on pollution that children and bus drivers breathe while reducing maintenance and operation costs for schools. Please voice your support for electric buses by calling the Granite School District Transportation office at 385-646-4280. We must prioritize protecting the health of current, and future, generations in Granite School District.

Amanda Merrill, Salt Lake City

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