Empty Promises: MCPS’s Backtrack on Electric Buses

Diesel bus in Montgomery County

Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) recently voted to purchase 90 diesel buses for the 2024-2025 school year, a stark reversal from their prior commitment to transition to electric buses. This decision compromises both the health of our children and the environment, making it crucial for the community to take action.

What Happened?

Maryland LCV is questioning the recent decision by Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) Board of Education to purchase 90 diesel buses instead of electric ones for the 2024-2025 school year. Despite MCPS's previous commitment to transitioning to electric buses to reduce carbon emissions and improve community health, they cited “supply chain issues” as the reason for this change. However, Maryland LCV points out that these supply chain issues affect both diesel and electric buses equally. This move, costing nearly $15 million, is seen as a step back from the MCPS's initial pledge to work towards a cleaner and more environmentally friendly transportation system which was aimed at benefiting not only the environment but the health of the children, bus drivers, and the community at large.

Harmful Effects to our Children

Diesel pollutants pose a significant health risk to children, who are especially vulnerable due to their developing respiratory systems and higher breathing rates per body weight compared to adults. Diesel exhaust contains a mixture of harmful gases and fine particles that can cause or exacerbate various health issues. When inhaled, the fine particles present in diesel exhaust can penetrate deep into the lungs and even enter the bloodstream, leading to acute respiratory problems, chronic bronchitis, and can trigger asthma attacks.

Long-term exposure to diesel pollution can significantly impact a child's lung development, potentially leading to decreased lung function and lifelong respiratory issues. Moreover, studies have linked diesel exhaust exposure to adverse neurodevelopmental outcomes, including cognitive impairments and behavioral issues. The danger extends to school environments where children are exposed to diesel emissions from school buses and nearby traffic, underscoring the importance of transitioning to cleaner, emissions-free alternatives like electric buses to protect the health and well-being of children and the broader community.

Get Involved!

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