My name is Charlie Druker. I’m a senior at Buckingham Browne & Nichols School in Cambridge, Massachusetts and I am the founder and creator of The Green Yellow Bus Initiative. This is my story…
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I read an interesting New York Times article last year about schools switching their diesel-burning school buses over to clean, electric ones. Intrigued, I looked and found a few other articles in other publications about the same topic, and became appalled at just how unhealthy bus emission particulates were to students.
I also learned of the tremendous benefits of electric vehicles in slowing the effects of climate change through dramatically reduced fossil fuel use. I learned of the unique characteristics of school buses that make them ideal candidates for electrification- known daily routes, vast majority of the year sitting idle, enormous battery capacity. And most importantly, I learned that the economics of switching from diesel to electric buses had changed markedly over the past year, to the point where electrification was also the most sensible financial choice for a school. And that led me to my key thought: "Hey, why doesn’t my own school make the switch?"
Before approaching my school's administration, I began researching the available literature online, and started scheduling calls and meetings with a wide range of companies and individuals that I thought would be helpful.
I contacted and spoke with officials from other schools around the country who had made the switch to electric buses in order to get detailed feedback about their experiences. I talked to many different local, state, and federal agency representatives to learn more about the grant process. It became clear that, even in the absence of generous grants that made the purchase of a new electric bus completely free (!), the decision for a school to switch was still a slam-dunk. The switch would save money, save the planet, and save lives.
At first I was only looking to help my own school transition. I arranged to get a quote from a Vehicle-to-Grid Charging (V2G) company for a “turn-key” solution to electrify our buses- we got a quote for a flat rate per month per bus, with all installation, maintenance and service included. And then I began the process of searching for grants, and it became clear we could get our buses for free!
Given that success, I decided to try to help other schools as well. I feel I’ve developed a very detailed knowledge-base of what was a complicated topic that had widely dispersed silos of information and data that were previously difficult to consolidate- there was no central repository of the knowledge and experiences needed to help schools make informed decisions. Each school would have to make its own calls to bus companies and dealers, grant agencies, school superintendents who’d made the switch, etc. That was terribly inefficient and would needlessly slow down the adoption of bus electrification. With the Green Yellow Bus Initiative, I now can offer all the necessary data and information in one place, continually updated, based on my experience, contacts, and hard lessons learned. This should help other schools capitalize on the opportunity in much less time and much more efficiently than what I had to face. We can all now have the tools and information needed to remove dirty, pollution-spewing diesel buses off our roads and away from our students, while saving money and helping us all make the transition to a much greener, healthier world!
Green Yellow Bus Initiative...in the news!
Click below to link to School Transportation News:
What People Are Saying About Us:
"Working with Charlie was a pleasure- he's knowledgeable and really helped us quickly understand the issues involved in moving to electric buses"
-Jim Lee, Superintendent of Schools, Braintree, MA
"Charlie's been invaluable in helping schools and school districts learn about the need and opportunities to transition to electric school buses"
-Dick Johnson, Nuvve Corporation,
San Diego, CA
"Charlie is very knowledgeable and I highly recommend other schools
talk to him"
-Stephen P. Sanford,
Associate Head of School,
Tabor Academy, Marion, MA
"Charlie's Green Yellow Bus initiative is a terrific resource for anyone looking to make the switch to electric buses"
-Mary Ann Boyer, Co-Founder, Boyer Sudduth Environmental Consultants,
SAVE THE PLANET
ONE GREEN BUS AT A TIME