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Phoenix schools get nearly 50 new electric school buses

Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego joined school officials and community members Tuesday morning to celebrate the arrival of 47 new clean electric school buses.

The buses will serve students throughout the Phoenix area.

The Isaac Elementary School District in Phoenix was one of the first to be granted funds from the EPAto buy electric school buses and build the infrastructure to charge them. Now, about 200 of those buses have been funded throughout Arizona.

Hazel Chandler helped organize Tuesday’s event. She also used to be a part of the Maricopa County Asthma Coalition.

“And one of the things that I saw over and over and over again was that kids riding on or waiting for the diesel-powered school buses were having really bad asthma attacks, and many of them had to carry their inhaler just to get on the bus," Chandler said.

She added that while the initial cost of electric buses is more expensive, they save money over time.

“When you look at the overall cost of operation over a 10-year period, which is what the average school bus goes for, it’s about 70% of the cost of a diesel school bus," Chandler said. "So it’s way cheaper."

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Senior field correspondent Bridget Dowd has a bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.