Environment Local News

A dozen Kentucky school districts have purchased gas-electric hybrid buses, and hundreds more hybrids will be coming to Kentucky soon.

The first hybrid bus has been delivered to LaRue County Public Schools. Nineteen more will be sent to other districts over the next six weeks.

The buses are paid for in part by the federal stimulus package. Kentucky received about 13 million stimulus dollars to purchase the hybrids, and districts must apply for the funds.

Whayne Power Systems delivers the buses. Division manager Frank Lewis says over the next three years, Whayne will fill orders for 200 hybrids.

“It’s really up to each district what they choose to order, so they may or may not buy the hybrid. Some districts have bought multiples,” he says. “For example, Pike County placed an order for six. A couple counties have an order for two in.”

A Jefferson County Public Schools official says the district will purchase about thirty hybrids next spring. The hybrids cost twice as much as traditional diesel buses, but are less expensive to operate and maintain.