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Clean Mobility in Schools Program

NEWS RELEASE: Electric School Buses, Trucks, Cars, and Bikes Coming to San Diego Schools in the Lincoln High School Area
Posted on 04/04/2022

Result of $9.6 million clean air grant awarded by the California Air Resource Board

SAN DIEGO (April 4, 2022) – Students at Lincoln High School and its surrounding elementary and middle schools will soon see electric school buses, trucks, community event vehicles, and bikes in their neighborhoods. This pilot program is made possible by a $9.6 million grant awarded by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to the San Diego Unified School District to bring clean transportation to schools located in areas of the state most heavily impacted by pollution.  

“Every community deserves clean air and this Clean Mobility in Schools Program is one of the most comprehensive electric mobility programs of its kind for a school district,” said San Diego Unified Board President Dr. Sharon Whitehurst-Payne. “This program not only benefits our students but the communities these vehicles serve.”


“This project is so exciting because it builds on our commitment to bring clean technology to schools and students, particularly in communities like this one that are most impacted by pollution,” CARB Chair Liane Randolph said. “CARB has provided more than $1 billion to clean up dirty school buses over the past two decades, and there is now more in the pipeline for zero-emission buses like these at the Lincoln cluster of schools. This project shows how California is supporting the state’s bold transformation to zero-emission transportation and sustainable mobility to protect public health and fight climate change.”

The program serves the 14 schools in the Lincoln High School Cluster and includes 13 electric school buses, electric food delivery trucks, electric landscaping and maintenance equipment, an electric van and carpool vehicle, a large electric vehicle for community events, charging stations, and battery storage to support the electric buses with clean energy. The electric bikes are part of a pilot program for participating Lincoln students and staff.

Electric lawnmowerAn education and outreach effort for students and parents will share the benefits of clean mobility options. Elementary and middle school students and parents will receive customized information on the safest routes to walk and bike around each of their schools. Lincoln High School will receive workforce training education that teaches students about the different types of jobs available in the clean technology industry.

This Lincoln Cluster of Schools Clean Mobility in Schools Program is part of California Climate Investments, a statewide program that puts billions of cap-and-trade dollars to work reducing greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening the economy, and improving public health and the environment — particularly in communities impacted by poor air quality.

Poor air quality impacts children and school employees in areas throughout the state and San Diego County including Barrio Logan, Mountain View, Logan Heights, and Lincoln Park, as demonstrated by California’s health screening tool that identifies communities disproportionally burdened by pollution. The pilot program puts the Lincoln Cluster of schools on the cutting edge of clean school transportation.

Project partners working together to implement the program include CALSTART, Center for Sustainable Energy, Circulate San Diego, Cleantech San Diego, Environmental Health Coalition, Nuvve, S Curve Strategies, and SDG&E.

“This project brings currently available zero-emission vehicle options to a variety of mobility needs,” said CALSTART Deputy Director of Validation and Assessment Department Kevin Leong. “The insights we will gain from the project will help this community and others plan their effective transition to a clean transportation future.”

“The Center for Sustainable Energy is excited to be a partner on the Lincoln High School Clean Mobility in Schools Pilot Project,” said Center for Sustainable Energy Director of California Transportation Programs Jonathan Changus. “Working with local organizations, we will share information on how these technologies provide cleaner air for the community and create opportunities for students to be part of the clean mobility workforce of the future.”

“Circulate San Diego is pleased to bring programming focused on safe pedestrian and bicycle behavior to the Clean Mobility in Schools program,” said Circulate San Diego Director of Planning Dara Braitman. “Not only is it essential that we provide these learning opportunities to students but that we, as practitioners, use this time to identify gaps and needs in the infrastructure network to truly create corridors that support access for all, regardless of age or ability.”

“The Clean Mobility in Schools program will inspire the next generation of clean technology entrepreneurs and industry leaders,” said Cleantech San Diego President and CEO Jason Anderson. “It’s important for San Diego to remain competitive in this sector and the transportation electrification will continue to grow exponentially in the coming years.”

“The Environmental Health Coalition has been working in the Lincoln Cluster Neighborhoods for over 40 years,” said Environmental Health Coalition Executive Director Diane Takvorian. “We are excited to see this much needed investment in clean mobility to improve air quality in one of the most impacted and underserved communities in the state. We are proud to be partnering with the school district on this momentous project.”

“The time is now to electrify our nation’s school bus fleet to create cleaner and safer environments for students and communities,” said Nuvve VP of Partnerships Lynn Ames. “Through our intelligent energy management platform, Nuvve is proud to lead in this space. We’re grateful for our ecosystem of forward thinking, action-oriented partners like SDUSD, SDG&E, CALSTART and others that have contributed to making meaningful progress in our own backyard.”

“School districts from across the country can learn from this innovative project and replicate it in their own communities,” said S Curve Strategies President April Bolduc. “Every student should have the opportunity to breathe clean air. Growing the adoption of electric buses, cars and trucks is the quickest way for any region to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in our neighborhoods.”

“In Southern California, transportation is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution, which can disproportionately affect our most vulnerable communities,” said SDG&E Clean Transportation Customer Engagement Manager Corey Permann. “We are grateful for partners like the San Diego Unified School District, who are working to improve the environment and reduce maintenance costs for the city by transitioning to an electric fleet.”

For more information visit sandiegounified.org/cleanmobility.

Group with bus


California Climate Investments projects include affordable housing, renewable energy, public transportation, zero-emission vehicles, environmental restoration, more sustainable agriculture, recycling and much more. At least 35 percent of these investments are made in disadvantaged and low-income communities. The Cap-and-Trade program creates a financial incentive for industries to invest in clean technologies and develop innovative ways to reduce pollution.

The San Diego Unified School District has implemented a Climate Action Plan to become a zero net energy organization by 2035, with a commitment to prioritize investments in neighborhoods that are hit “first and worst” by climate impacts. The district is meeting climate goals by retrofitting schools using Prop 39, the Clean Energy Jobs Act, with more efficient air conditioning and converting more than 29,000 lighting fixtures to LED. The district has also brought 54 solar photovoltaic power systems into operation, with many more scheduled for construction in the coming years, and is projected to self-generate 50 percent of its total electricity by the end of 2022 – offsetting more than 10,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions each year.

See PDF of this News Release here