Students in East Whatcom County’s Mt. Baker Head Start program will travel to and from school in a brand-new electric school bus, provided to the Opportunity Council’s East Whatcom County Regional Resource Center (EWRRC), part of PSE’s Up & Go Electric pilot program focused on equity in transportation electrification.
This bus, which PSE purchased from Blue Bird, comes with a dual-port level 2 charging station that PSE installed on the resource center property. The charging station will power the electric bus while the extra charging port will be available for other invited guests of the resource center.
“PSE is working to advance the equitable adoption of transportation electrification in our region, but we can’t do it alone, said Andy Wappler, PSE Senior Vice President and Chief Customer Officer. “Partnerships with community-based organizations like Opportunity Council’s East Whatcom Regional Resource Center enable us to build a robust EV ecosystem and ensure that everyone, regardless of income and geographic location, can access the benefits of electric mobility.”
The resource center is a critical community hub for its Head Start preschool, community meetings, community gardens and basic needs resources for East Whatcom County residents.
“We are immensely grateful for PSE’s generosity in support of our electric bus initiative,” said David Webster, Director of the Opportunity Council’s Department of Early Learning & Family Services. “To us, it’s not only reliable transportation for our children but also a step forward in reducing air pollution in an area that is frequently assessed as a “non-containment area” by the Northwest Clean Air Agency. Fossil fuel bus fumes are an irritant for children with asthma, too, so this investment will pay many dividends for our kiddos and our entire service area.”
PSE’s transportation electrification programs aim to provide direct and measurable benefits and to reduce health and financial burdens for the communities it serves. Partnering with community organizations like the Opportunity Council is part of PSE’s commitment to working together to create a cleaner energy future for all and achieving its aspirational goal to be a Beyond Net Zero Carbon company by 2045. PSE is targeting reducing carbon emissions to net zero and going beyond by helping other sectors enable carbon reduction across Washington state.
To learn more about PSE’s Transportation Electrification Plan, visit pse.com/upandgo.