TACOMA – Sen. Steve Conway (D-South Tacoma) was on hand on June 17 as the Franklin Pierce School District unveiled the state’s first electric school bus.

The bus is part of a pilot program intended to lead to the replacement of the district’s fleet of diesel buses, reducing carbon emissions and saving the district thousands in maintenance and fuel costs.

Conway joined Gov. Jay Inslee and others aboard the all-electric Blue Bird school bus for a victory lap around the track at the district’s stadium, cheered on by students, parents and teachers.

Seating 72 and with a range of 120 miles, the bus features a custom educational energy dashboard showing real-time energy use and savings.

The district purchased the bus with help from a grant program funded by TransAlta as part of its agreement to phase out its coal-fired plant in Centralia.