WORCESTER, Mass. - Worcester Public Schools joined local, state and federal partners on Monday to celebrate a $5.8 million grant which will provide 15 electric buses for the district.

What You Need To Know

  • Worcester Public Schools announced a $5.8 million grant for 15 electric buses

  • The new fleet will be ready for use sometime in 2026

  • The grant was awarded by the EPA's Clean School Bus Program

  • Speakers at Monday's celebration hope to see additional electric buses added to the fleet in the future

A group of students rode into the Worcester School Bus Yard on Monday inside one of the buses, but the full fleet won’t be operating until 2026.

Among those in attendance for Monday’s celebration were Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D), Sen. Ed Markey (D), and Rep. Jim McGovern (D).

Speaking to a crowd in front of the new bus, Warren touted it as an important tool in the ongoing fight against climate change.

"You shouldn't be breathing in that toxic air," Warren said. "And thanks to this kind of plan, those days of breathing in all that carbon dioxide and particulates while waiting for the bus, those days are coming to an end."

The $5.8 million grant was awarded to Worcester Public Schools by the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean School Bus Program, which was given $5 billion in funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

"A bus ride to school should be filled with laughter, not pollution, and that’s what we’re celebrating here today," Markey said. "We are going to drive down emissions and save thousands of dollars over the life expectancy of these buses."

Worcester Mayor Joseph Petty (D) said the city was able to secure the buses partly because Worcester Public Schools stopped using an outside school bus contractor before the 2022-23 school year.

He and other speakers were optimistic the incoming fleet won’t be the last for Worcester Public Schools.

"Reducing air pollution and fighting the climate crisis are in alignment with our goals in the Green Worcester Plan," Petty said. "And I believe that our schools deserve an environment to ride to school in conditions that are healthier than when I rode the bus in my youth."

"This is what it means for us to set ambitious goals for the change we want to see," added McGovern. "And then working together to ensure that change happens. This is real. We have turned the page on climate leadership in this country."