Fairfield County has the poorest air quality in Connecticut -- , according to Assistant Superintendent for Business Nancy Harris.
The lease agreement was because Westport is required to pay for the $145,931 electric school bus up front before being reimbursed with the state funds.
“They’re trying to intrigue towns to look at alt energy sources,” Harris said of the State of Connecticut, adding that Westport already runs ultra low sulfur diesel fuel busses.
Westport Public Schools received a , which will end up costing the town nothing.
Dattco, Westport’s transportation provider, has agreed to pay the remaining $82,347 over the course of two annual lease payments in addition to covering all insurance and maintenance costs on the ultra-low sulfur diesel hybrid. At the end of the two-year lease Dattco will resume ownership of the bus for the sum of one dollar.
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“We’re always trying to see if there is a better way for us to do something especially given the town of Westport and Westport citizens’ commitment to clean energy,” Harris said.
Harris recognized that many towns are not in the positing to put up nearly $150,000 for a hybrid school bus.
“While for us the additional cost of the vehicle on a six-month basis may not make a huge difference in our cash flow,” Harris said.
The electric bus will run on batteries with a backup diesel engine, Harris said.
“It’s the same vehicle, but it gives us the op to try out new technology,” she said.
The bus is scheduled to be delivered to Dattco in November.