GARRETSON, S.D. (KELO) – Those big yellow buses we’re all used to hearing roar down the road are going green — at least figuratively, anyway.
Friday the Garretson School District got a special delivery of three electric school buses as part of the federal government’s Clean School Bus Program.
“We actually got our new electric buses all being delivered presently and so we’re excited to learn more about how that’s all going to work and see how this goes as far as electric transportation,” Guy Johnson, the Garretson superintendent, said.
The Garretson School District was one of six districts in the state to receive these electric buses for free through the federal government. The funding also covered the installation of the bus chargers.
“Now we’re really excited to see what this can do for our district in the form of cost-savings and also a great environmental impact in the future,” Shannon Nordstrom, the Garretson school board president, said.
They look just like your regular school bus but they don’t sound like your regular school bus. The electric buses are much quieter.
“It’ll be nice to be on a bus that’s quiet. When you talk to the kids, the kids can hear you over the noise of the bus so that’ll be a plus,” Tom Godbey, a bus driver, said.
Next, the Garretson bus drivers will get trained on the new equipment. And we’ll see just how well the buses handle a South Dakota winter.
“We do expect with the colder temperatures that the range will be decreased, these buses have a range of 125 miles. Our longest route is about 45 miles so we feel like we’re going to be just fine with that,” Johnson said.
The federal government’s clean bus program provided three-point-six million dollars for South Dakota school districts of Garretson, Hansen, DeSmet, Lower Brule, Viborg-Hurley and Sioux Valley.
Garretson was the only school district that got three buses, the others either got one or two.