Phoenix Union High School District Begins Electric School Bus Pilot Program

May 31, 2019

The air in Phoenix is going to be a lot cleaner thanks to a major win for Clean Buses For Healthy Niños. In April 2019, the Phoenix Union High School District (PUHSD) Governing Board voted UNANIMOUSLY to invest in an electric bus pilot program and purchase the state’s first electric school bus.

PUHSD will plan to invest this year in their first electric bus and EV charging stations, tour electrified districts across the country, and partner with other Phoenix districts to explore shared infrastructure for up to five new buses in the next phase of this pilot.

This is a historic victory for the students of PUHSD We celebrate the vote and thank district leadership for bringing this pilot program to Phoenix Union. This represents an important step toward the adoption of clean fuel technologies that will benefit our communities, our health, and our environment.

Nearly 300,000 Arizona students ride school buses every day, making it the number-one mode of public transportation in our state. The vast majority of public school buses run on diesel fuel, generating toxic emissions and endangering the health of students and communities.

For almost a year, South Mountain High School students attended school board meetings to advocate for electric school buses and demand bold solutions from their school district.

“We attended every school meeting because we care about our health, our community, and our environment. Air pollution and climate change disproportionately impact my family and everyday life. I’m happy to see our district lead by example,” said Monica Aceves, High School student and Chispa AZ promotora.

In addition to the brave leadership of Phoenix students, this win could not have happened without Chispa Arizona. Chispa Arizona launched the Clean Buses for Healthy Niños campaign in 2017 to advocate for healthier communities and encourage state leaders to commit nearly $57 Million in Volkswagen Settlement dollars earmarked for clean air technologies to replace dirty diesel school buses with zero emissions electric buses.

Phoenix has some of the dirtiest air in the nation – adopting new clean fuel technologies at the institutional level will be key to addressing the health of our families, our communities, and building a cleaner future for AZ.


Chispa Arizona Senior Organizer, Julio Zuniga and South Mountain High Comite Promoteres