Arizona plans to use Volkswagen money to replace aging school buses

Jun 8, 2018, 1:29 PM | Updated: Jun 21, 2018, 2:18 pm
(Pexels Photo)...
(Pexels Photo)
(Pexels Photo)

PHOENIX — Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey released a plan Friday to replace aging school buses throughout the state using money from a federal lawsuit against Volkswagen.

The plan allots $38 million over two years for approximately 280 new buses, including an estimated 85 in Maricopa County.

“These dollars will go a long way toward making sure Arizona students are safely delivered to school everyday,” Ducey said in a news release.

“Additionally, putting these dollars toward the purchase of new school buses will free up existing funding sources, allowing school districts to focus on other capital needs to benefit students.”

Funds for the buses will be given to school districts where at least 60 percent of the students are eligible for free or reduced price lunch, as well as the Arizona School for the Deaf and Blind.

Buses that are at least 15 years old with over 100,000 miles will be eligible for replacement.

As part of a federal lawsuit against Volkswagen for violating the Clean Air Act by falsifying emissions reports, Arizona will receive nearly $57 million over 10 years to be used on projects that reduce pollution.

The trustee in the case must approve of Arizona’s plan, which also includes funding for other projects, such as fire crew support and equipment for the Arizona Department of Transportation.

In addition to the 2015 federal lawsuit payout, the state reached a settlement this year for $40 million over false claims involving the German carmaker’s “clean diesel” vehicles.

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Arizona plans to use Volkswagen money to replace aging school buses