Gov. Jay Inslee with students in front of Electric school bus
Climate Solutions
WANTED: Champions for Clean School Buses

Did you know that there are over 10,000 diesel-powered school buses currently transporting our children in Washington? 

In the new year we have a new opportunity to protect our kids from air pollution — especially with their still developing lungs. It’s hard to believe but air pollution inside a diesel-powered bus can be 4-12 times worse than outside. Riding to school in a safe, healthy environment shouldn't be a privilege — all kids deserve to have clean air.

This session we must collectively tell our state legislators: Transition Washington’s school bus fleet to pollution-free.

We need your help finding key folks to speak up during legislative session so that all school kids in WA get a healthy and safe ride to school. 

Can you please email Joelle Robinson if you know of any principals, teachers, PTA leaders, parents, students that want to engage as part of our “champions” bench this session? We would reach out to them at key moments with opportunities to testify or meet with / call / email their legislators to help urge them to champion this bill. Hearing from these folks we feel will be especially helpful, so we are looking to build a team before session starts.

In Washington, fewer than 1% of our state's school bus fleet are electric, meaning most of our state's operating school buses are creating unhealthy air pollution. Diesel exhaust has been shown to cause numerous health problems, including asthma, bronchitis and even cancer. And of course, diesel exhaust contains climate pollutants that contribute to the climate crisis.

Fortunately, zero-emission school buses provide a cleaner, healthier way for kids to get to school. Washington legislators introduced a bill in 2023 that would have transitioned Washington's school bus fleet to be zero emission, but it didn't advance. We have another chance in this 2024 legislative session to ensure all school buses statewide will be zero-emission and fund this transition, but we need your support to make this happen.

Please let us know if you have key folks willing to make their voices heard to state legislators urging them to champion 100% clean school buses for healthy kids.


ELECTRIC SCHOOL BUS U.S. MARKET STUDY AND BUYER’S GUIDE: A Resource for School Bus Operators Pursuing Fleet Electrification. Published by the World Resources Institute (WRI)

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Author Bio

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Jonathan Lee

Storytelling and Digital Engagement Manager, Climate Solutions

Jonathan Toshio Lee (pronouns: he/him) is passionate about lifting up stories that educate, inspire, and make positive change. He has over a decade of experience in communications strategy, creating multimedia content, public policy advocacy, and promoting equity, diversity, and social justice. Before joining the Climate Solutions team, Jonathan worked in the crime victims' services field and served as a board member and volunteer with OPAL Environmental Justice Oregon.