SBCSC Reveals Two New Electric Buses

South Bend Community School Corporation introduces two electric buses to fleet


The South Bend Community School Corporation unveiled two new electric buses for its fleet on Friday, January 27 at 10:30 a.m. at the district’s Vehicle Maintenance Facility at 3003 N. Bendix Dr., South Bend, IN 46628.

“We’re thrilled to be the first in the region to begin introducing electric buses into our fleet,” said Superintendent Dr. Todd Cummings. “These buses signify our commitment to environmental responsibility and the future of our students. Our outstanding transportation team and director, Ms. LaToya King, should be truly proud of their commitment to our students and the future of our city.” 

The purchase of the two all-electric school buses was made possible through grants written

by Drive Clean Indiana. Funds were sourced from the Indiana Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust Fund Grant program and Indiana Michigan Power to provide $822,354 towards this all-electric school bus replacement project. This project was made possible by technical assistance through MACOG’s Northern Indiana Green Fleet program. 

SBCSC is the first district in Northern Indiana to receive such funding from AEP and the second largest district in the region to be provided funds from IDEM.

“Drive Clean Indiana is proud to have partnered with the Michiana Area Council of Governments (MACOG), Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM), Kerlin Bus Sales, Indiana Michigan Power, and South Bend Community School Corporation on their Electric School Bus Grant Awards. We celebrate their commitment to provide zero tailpipe emission transportation options for their fleet,” stated Ryan Lisek, program director for Drive Clean Indiana.

The district’s commitment to reduce nitrogen oxides, particulate matter, carbon dioxide and other harmful diesel emissions is vital to improve air quality in the community it serves. Over 30,000 gallons of diesel will be displaced as a result of this project.  

“As both Secretary of Transportation and a South Bend native, I'm delighted to learn that SBCSC is embracing electric school buses,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “These buses mean cleaner air for kids and for neighborhoods around the community, and more budget dollars that can be invested in our kids instead of spent on diesel. I know the School Corporation plans to add even more electric school buses in the future, and for our part, the Biden Administration will continue working to help schools across the country do the same so that students everywhere can breathe cleaner air and live healthier lives.”

SBCSC is the first district in Northern Indiana to receive such funding from AEP and the second largest district in the region to be provided funds from IDEM.

“These buses are emblems of our commitment to clean air, sustainable energy, our students’ health, and improving the overall experience of our drivers and passengers,” said Kareemah Fowler, assistant superintendent of business and finance for the district. “This is a major step for our district and our promise to our students and their future. We are incredibly proud of our drivers, mechanics, and many partners for making this possible.” 

The electric buses are also some of the first in the district’s fleet to be equipped with specialized tablets from Tyler Technologies, Inc.  Designed to scan the district’s student IDs, the tablets will assist drivers in determining efficient routes, improved communication, and more accurate pick up and drop off times. Using the tablets will allow for less paper usage and waste, aligning with the district’s efforts to deliver and promote a more environmentally friendly community. 

“I couldn’t be more proud of the accomplishments of the South Bend Community Schools Corporation team — not only because they are a leader in transportation management, but because of their commitment to student safety,” said Ted Thien, vice president and general manager of transportation for Tyler Technologies, Inc. “From the time they began working with Tyler Technologies routing software more than 20 years ago, I have seen them make the most of technology to ensure the safe, efficient transport of their precious cargo. By adding Tyler Drive tablets to their fleet they are continuing that legacy.”

Once permits and licensing are finalized, the electric buses will be used on 100-mile routes.