Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools is expecting two electric buses, with seatbelts, in January. (Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools photo)

Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools is expecting two electric buses, with seatbelts, in January. (Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools photo)

Nanaimo-Ladysmith school district to see two new electric buses with seatbelts

Seatbelt pilot project was previously announced for the school district

  • Oct. 7, 2020 12:00 a.m.

Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools will add a pair of new electric school buses to its fleet, complete with seatbelts, in the new year.

According to a Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools’ press release, the two new buses, expected to arrive in January, are anticipated to reduce the school district’s greenhouse gas emissions and will result in an anticipated annual savings of $20,000 a year in fuel and maintenance.

Western Canada Bus will supply the buses, said the press release, and the projected cost of the “turn-key project” is $902,083. The 76-passenger Type C electrical buses will cost $384,541 and the project will also include supply and installation of two charging stations at a cost of $25,000.

The B.C. Ministry of Education and Transport Canada will provide $260,910 for each bus, while the Association of School Transportation Services of B.C. will give $132,258, said the press release. The ministry’s carbon neutral capital program will provide $65,000 for charging stations costs, while the association will provide a grant of up to $6,000 for charging stations. The school district will provide the remaining money, estimated at $44,474 through its energy initiative fund.

RELATED: SD68 selected for seatbelt-on-school bus pilot

The district had previously announced it had been selected take take part in a school bus-seatbelt pilot project and in the press release, it said the buses will have “three-point seatbelts” and other safety features recommended by the Federal Task Force on School Bus Safety, comprised of various levels of government and school bus safety stakeholders.

Information from the pilot will be gathered for any future application of seatbelt usage.

The school district is receiving the buses through a new B.C. government initiative offering districts the option of purchasing the electric buses through the ministry of education bus acquisition program.

The school board said it was happy with the impending arrival of the buses and expressed thanks to funding partners.

“The acquisition of two electric buses helps the district move towards our goal of environmental stewardship and sustainability,” said Charlene McKay, Nanaimo-Ladysmith school board chairperson, in the release.

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