A Transformative Clean Mobility Pilot
Clean Mobility in Schools Pilot Project
El Monte Union High School District | A Transformative Clean Mobility Pilot: Connecting Research, Education, and Community in a Disadvantaged School District
May 2020 - June 2024
A Transformative Clean Mobility Pilot serves high school and adult education students, parents, and district staff at 6 school sites. The district is adding new zero-emission school buses to their fleet, allowing the district to transport more students while reducing reliance on nearby school bus departments for loaner school buses on a daily basis. Active transportation feasibility studies developed in collaboration with each school community, help the district plan for safe and attractive routes to school. A Clean Energy Fellowship spurs interest in clean energy and transportation careers. New zero-emission motor pool vehicles for district use along with the replacement of custodial vehicles clean the air, reduce noise, and reduce reliance on fossil fuels while actively exhibiting zero-emission technologies at each school community. The project includes onsite energy storage systems that tie into the district’s existing solar system to reduce operational demand costs long-term.
- An active transportation feasibility assessment conducted for each campus.
- Career pathways enhanced through curriculum development, direct participation in project deliverables and presentations, and workforce training aspects like battery electric school bus safety and driver training.
- Battery energy storage projects at 5 school sites will reduce energy costs and support zero-emission battery electric vehicles and equipment.
- Data collection and analysis is focused on vehicle performance, usage, and user surveys on both baseline vehicles and their new zero-emission countertypes purchased through the grant.
- Research and analysis on community engagement events encompasses attendance outcomes, media coverage statistics, web analytics, and direct feedback.
- Early collaboration among district departments such as academics, transportation, energy, and facilities established implementation checkpoints to ensure timely implementation of various project elements.
- Concerted collaboration among curriculum development, career pathways, parent-teacher organizations, and student clubs garnered more interest in project alignment and engagement.
- Working with local contractors promoted long-term sustainability and interest in the project.
- Grant Amount: $9,847,660
- Resource Contributions: $36,100
- Project Total: $9,883,760
By the Numbers
Services, Vehicles & Equipment Funded
- 8 Type D Blue Bird electric school buses
- 3 Type A Micro Bird electric school buses
- 11 High powered level 2 chargers
- 3 ABB DC fast chargers
- 2 Locations for bus charging
- 11 Gem Polaris electric utility maintenance carts
- 5 ENGIE battery-based energy storage systems
- 6 Electric vehicles for staff motor pools
- 6 School Mobility & Active Transportation Plans
- 1 Clean Energy Fellow for Workforce Development
Estimated Quantifiable Benefits
- GHG emission reductions: 2,350 MTCO2e
- Diesel PM reductions: 20 lbs
- NOx reductions: 43,582 lbs
- PM2.5 reductions: 1,060 lbs
- ROG reductions: 1,844 lbs
- Travel cost savings: $32,266
- Fossil fuel-based transportation fuel use reductions: 169,620 gallons
- Direct jobs: 48
- Indirect jobs: 16
- Induced jobs: 31
El Monte Union High School District is in the heart of the San Gabriel Valley. The District is a severely disadvantaged community where every single school site stands in the top 25% on CalEnviroScreen 3.0 and some as high as the top 10%. The disproportionate pollution burden felt by the community is significant and this project will take diesel and gasoline vehicles off the road and replace them with clean zero-emission vehicles.
Population studies show that approximately 200,000 people reside in the EMUHSD attendance boundaries. The area the district represents a mix of interests, professions, and groups. The source of income for most people in this area is broadly grouped into industrial and factory work, and retail sales. The families who live in this area include many in the middle to lower income economic groups. The project aims to resolve chronic transportation and financial challenges the EMUHSD faces in school busing (where there is existing bus deficit), school transportation safety, and air quality.
Demographics of Community Served by Project
40% Hispanic or Latino, 34% White, 16% Asian, 9% Black or African American, and 1% Other
Median Household Income: $51,283
- The project aims to resolve chronic transportation and financial challenges the district faces in school bussing, concerns for school transportation safety, and poor air quality. Replacing the diesel and gasoline vehicles with clean zero-emission vehicles will reduce the District’s carbon footprint and help improve air quality of the cities EMUHSD services, including El Monte, South El Monte and Rosemead. Electric school buses can save the District up to 80% in fuel costs and up to 50% in maintenance costs over traditional diesel-power vehicles.
- Co-benefits include active transportation plans to provide options for safe routes to and from schools, a Career Technical Education curriculum, and community workforce development in the San Gabriel Valley.
- In addition, this project will increase transportation access for students and thereby reduce the pressure often placed on working families in the community to find alternative ways to get their children to school. The workforce training and development element of this project will help train a new generation of leaders in electric vehicle and advanced energy technologies.
Outreach & Engagement Strategies
Community engagement events include one major District-based event as well as collaboration with partners to incorporate mobility elements into at least four to five existing events designed to benefit the community, including transportation, health and job fairs, college-preparatory programs, community celebrations, and high school club and sporting activities.
- Culturally appropriate education materials
- Materials in English, Spanish, Vietnamese and Mandarin
- Web-based materials
- Social media
- Public meetings
- Booth/tabling at community/school events
- Ride and drive events
- Local and statewide press releases
- Collaboratively development of the School Mobility & Active Transportation Plan
El Monte Union High School District’s (EMUHSD) Clean Mobility in Schools Pilot Project, partnered with two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist Lalo Alcaraz and his team at Pocho Villa Productions to create an animated short. The animation features the voices of students and administrators from EMUHSD and focuses on green mobility options and benefits to encourage the greater El Monte Union community to start a conversation about clean transportation.
For more information, please visit the District’s Clean Mobility in School’s Pilot Project website: https://emuhsdmobility.com
- Students in grades 9-12
- Adult students
- District staff
- People of color
- Non-English speakers
- New workforce students
Located in the heart of the San Gabriel Valley, the El Monte Union High School District was established in 1901. El Monte Unified High School District serves more than 8,000 students in grades 9-12 and more than 11,000 students in adult schools. Its high schools include Arroyo, El Monte, Mountain View, Rosemead, South El Monte and Fernando R. Ledesma High School. The District also features the El Monte‐Rosemead Adult School, one of California’s largest and most respected adult programs.
- A-Z Bus Sales, Inc.
- Shell Recharge Solutions
- Gladstein, Neandross & Associates
- University of California, Riverside – Center for Environmental Research and Technology
- Fehr & Peers
- VMA Communications, Inc.
- San Gabriel Valley Conservation Corps