The new bus looks pretty much like its diesel counterparts
The cool new electric bus has been inspected and registered so it can go into service next week carting Amherst elementary school children back and forth with less noise, pollution and annual maintenance costs.
The bus is owned by Amherst since the state grant was given to the Elementary schools -- not the Region -- although it is stored at the Amherst Regional Middle School.
But Amherst does make up roughly 80% of the Region. Since the bus is limited to about 70 miles per charge it would not be overly practical for the Region which is spread out over four towns (some of them pretty hilly).
The state awarded us a $400,000 grant to acquire the bus which of course is four times more than the internal combustion counterparts, so not a great bet the town or Region will be buying a fleet of them in the near future.
Town Meeting approved spending $93,000 for a traditional diesel bus last Spring which is now unnecessary, so maybe when the "independent analysis" of AFD staffing comes back later this month suggesting a much needed increase, that $93K could help make it happen sooner rather than later.