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Billings Public Schools introduce electric buses to fleet, aim to better quality of life

Posted at 3:42 PM, Apr 23, 2024

BILLINGS — Billings Public Schools held a ribbon cutting ceremony at the Billings Career Center in honor of its introduction of eight electric buses to its school bus fleet on Monday.

“We are carrying the most precious cargo on the road," said John Mckinney, a school bus driver with First Student Incorporated.

The introduction of the electric vehicles was funded after Montana's Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) won a settlement with Volkswagen.

“When you know better, you have to do better," said Superintendent Erwin Garcia with Billings Public Schools.

The buses are intended to cut down on carbon emissions and noise pollution.

“We’re seeing that children are better behaved on these buses. It’s a quieter environment, so they're quieter," said Kevin Matthews with First Student Incorporated.

Students said they are grateful for the investment in their futures.

"We have to be living in this environment for the rest of our lives. So, we wanna preserve and conserve as much as we can," said Krista Kvilhaug, a Billings student who was one of the first to ride the new electric buses.