Some progressive school districts are test-driving hybrid school buses, in hopes they can not only save on fuel bills, but also save their students' lungs.
Cleaning up the nation's school bus fleet has been a priority for several years now, but progress is slow. About one third of the buses on the road were built before 1990, and lack the pollution controls that can reduce pollution by 60% to 90% compared to the older models.
Hybrids up the ante even farther, by going twice as far on a gallon of diesel and very pricey diesel, at that; the average cost of diesel has hit record highs in recent days. Fuel, remember, can be a big chunk of a transportation department's budget, and that means tax dollars. Of course, it costs more than twice as much to buy a hybrid as a traditional bus.
Several states Arkansas, California, Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas and Washington are testing hybrids, according to USA Today.
Given that diesel fumes contaminate the air that children breathe, causing asthma attacks and some studies suggest worse, cleaning up school buses is certainly worth an investment.
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