Westport schools approved for hybrid bus grant
The Westport public school district recently received approval from the Connecticut Clean Fuel program for a $63,584 grant to buy a hybrid diesel electric bus.
Sandy Evangelista, the district's transportation coordinator, applied for the grant when district offficials became aware that the state was accepting requests, said Nancy Harris, assistant superintendent for business.
"We live in an area of high pollution," Harris said, adding that the town already has several hybrid vehicles. "This is a great chance to see what a hybrid bus is all about."
The district was the first in the area several years ago to convert 100 percent of their bus fleet to ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel before doing so became a federal mandate, according to a release from the district.
Though a hybrid bus is more expensive than a diesel vehicle, there is no net additional cost to Westport because the state grant funds the difference between a traditional school bus and the cost of the hybrid one, the release states.
The Board of Education has already approved the superintendent of schools' funding request for the hybrid bus, yet the Board of Finance, Representative Town Meeting and Board of Selectmen must still give their approvals, the release states.
If granted, the town could purchase the bus in February for delivery and use in the 2012-13 school year.