A new generation of transportation in Manassas City Public Schools

This article was republished with permission from WTOP’s news partner InsideNoVa.com. Sign up for InsideNoVa.com’s free email subscription today.

This article was written by WTOP’s news partner, InsideNoVa.com, and republished with permission. Sign up for InsideNoVa.com’s free email subscription today.

Over 7,000 students and 60 bus drivers from Manassas City Public Schools will now have greener transportation thanks to what students are calling a “magic school bus.”

Oct. 16-20 is recognized as School Bus Safety and School Bus Driver Appreciation Week, and to kick it off Manassas City Public Schools celebrated at Baldwin Elementary School by deploying the first phase of what will eventually be 12 electric school buses and chargers for its fleet.

The project is a partnership between the school district, Highland Electric Fleets and Sonny Merryman, a bus dealer company.

Students, teachers, bus drivers and local leaders attended the ceremony where they got the opportunity to see the new electric buses for themselves.

“That diesel bus right over there is something of yesteryear,” said Caley Edglery with Sonny Merryman. “Your city and your school district and your administration have brought a better bus to you.”

Manassas City School Board Chair Suzanne Seaberg cut the ribbon to the new electric school bus at Baldwin Elementary School on Oct. 16. (Photo by Cameron Delean, InsideNoVa.com)

Highland Electric Fleets provides electrification as a service in a commercial vehicle-to-grid program for school districts across North America, with the city of Manassas being the first in Virginia. Highland’s electric buses are regarded as being more efficient and quieter than the traditional diesel school buses. They can be identified by their blue logos on the front, “EV” printed on the front bumper and nearly silent drive.

“Bringing projects like this to life requires help and support from a tremendous amount of people, it starts with leadership … having the right people in the right seats with the commitment,” said CEO and founder of Highland Electric Fleets Duncan McIntyre.

Local leaders anticipate that the new electric school buses will boost the local community and turn Manassas into a blueprint for other school districts across Virginia to go electric.

Highland Electric Fleet buses can be identified by their blue logos on the front, “EV” printed on the front bumper and nearly silent drive. (Photo by Cameron Delean, InsideNoVa.com)

“These electric buses will help to modernize our fleet and bring a safer, more efficient experience for our drivers, our students and our families,” said Manassas City School Board Chair Suzanne Seaberg. “It was important to the School Board that we bring cleaner, healthier transportation to our students in the city, and the funding grant opportunity made it possible for us to implement this project.”

Electric buses is one step toward MCPS’ goal of creating a greener and more eco-friendly school transportation system. The effort coincides with the city’s sustainability plan of reducing 50% of greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.

“While MCPS’ partnership with Highland Fleets and Sonny Merryman is still in its early stages, this partnership offers great promise for the school division to have a truly sustainable conversion model over the next 15 years,” said Executive Director of Finance and Operations at Manassas City Public Schools Andy Hawkins. “We’re very happy with this additional effort and we look forward to having more sustainable efforts throughout our school division.”

According to Hawkins, the electric buses will reduce the carbon footprint in the community by eliminating the equivalent of 600 vehicles worth of carbon monoxide.

The district has three electric buses for the current school year and will add three more next school year and an additional six buses in 2025.

Highland Electric Fleets has brought electric school buses to Manassas City Public Schools. (Photo by Cameron Delean, InsideNoVa.com)
Federal News Network Logo
Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up