Location: Northeast and North Central, PA
Fleet Type: School buses

 

P&D Leasing – Scranton, PA

White Transit – Nanticoke,

PAHess Equipment – Ulysses, PA

Trojan Transport – Troy, PA

Chambers Bus – Columbia Crossroads, PA

 

Narrative

In June of 2021 Rohrer bus and EP-ACT began to explore the advantages of having an Electric School Bus (ESB) in their fleet for demonstration purposes. In response to the BIL more and more school districts and contractors had begun to inquire about using electric school buses. EP-ACT and Rohrer had investigated the feasibility and found that Rohrer would be a prime candidate for purchasing a demonstration electric School Bus.  In their own fleet they have over 1,000 buses, and they sell buses to over 40 school districts.  In August of 2022, with EP-ACT’s help, Rohrer Bus applied for funding to purchase an electric School bus for demonstration and usage in local routes.

Rohrer Bus began fielding questions about electric school buses and had some customers, both school districts and contractors inquire about getting electric school buses. Rohrer had begun to help educate several school bus contractors and districts throughout Northeast and North Central Pennsylvania about the conversion to electric school buses (ESB). During the same time period the EPA had issued funding through the Clean School Bus (CSB) program.   Rohrer worked through the application process submitting nine applications for various districts/contractors.

In October 2022, EPA made its selections and five of their project submissions had been approved and selected for funding for a total of 49 Thomas Built EV School Buses plus infrastructure for each. Multiple projects are underway with 25 Thomas Built Jouley’s going to P&D Leasing of Scranton, PA which will serve the Scranton School District, 15 Jouley’s going to White Transit of Nanticoke, PA to serve the Nanticoke School District, 4 Jouley’s going to Trojan Transport of Troy, Pa., 3 Jouley’s to Chambers Bus of Columbia Crossroads, both of which will serve the Troy Area School District. Finally, there will be 2 Jouley’s going to R. Hess Equipment of Ulysses, PA to serve the Northern Potter School District.  At the time of this report the infrastructure projects are all underway with Nanticoke and Northern Potter recently being completed. The Scranton project is approx. 80% complete and the Troy project(s) are in progress.

All of the infrastructure projects will be completed before the actual school buses arrive. This will give the contractors time to be certain the equipment is operating at 100% prior to bus delivery, enabling a proper transition to ESB’s.

Working with together with EP-ACT, Rohrer Bus has been awarded funding for their own demonstration buses which has helped their customers get acquainted with ESB’s.  This will also help their own fleet to begin the conversion to ESB’s.

On April 24th 2023, The EPA’s Administrator Michael Reagan used Rohrer’s Electric School Bus as a backdrop to announce the opening of the second round of their Clean School Bus Program at Nanticoke School District in Northeast PA.

These projects will have a positive impact on the students riding on them, as well as everyone throughout the communities they serve. These zero emission school buses will drastically reduce GHG emissions, particulate matter and provide health benefits and cost savings to the districts they serve.

Outputs & Outcomes

The outputs from Rohrer’s efforts are substantial.  Taking diesel school buses off the road in Central and Northeast PA and assisting smaller and rural school districts purchase ESB’s is paramount to these projects. The reduction on GHG’s in Northeast and Central PA and for the students who ride the shuttle buses daily is significant.

The outcomes from this work span several layers:

  1. The GHG emission reductions from each vehicle replaced with an EV in their fleet are approximately 16 metric tons for each vehicle. 
  2. Awareness of the vehicles being Zero Emission Vehicles
  3. Introduction of EV’s in rural areas.
  4. Introductory and elementary education towards the benefits of EV’s

Best Practices & Lessons Learned

To work with suppliers and dealers of EV’s.  They have connections to their customers.  Using their contacts to help further education around EV’s. Take any opportunity to present your experience and expertise in political forums.

     

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Rohrer Bus & Customers Fleet Story

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