SC to purchase 78 new school buses with Volkswagen settlement


LEXINGTON, SC (WSPA)- South Carolina was awarded $34 million in a settlement with Volkswagen. The US Department of Justice issued the settlement three years ago against the company for misleading customers about its fuel emissions.

Tuesday morning the SC Department of Insurance announced how the money from the settlement would be used.

“We published the final plan last December. So in March we issued the first requests for applications we sought to fund $10 million dollars in bus projects,” said Ray Farmer, the director of SCDOI.

When the money was first awarded the state went through the process of accepting applications for suggestions on how to use the money. Ultimately, $9 million has already been earmarked for new buses.

The Berkeley-Dorchester-Charleston area will get 2 new electric city buses and appropriate charging stations. The City of Anderson will also have a new transit bus.

Keith Scott explained, “Transportation, public transportation is important for everyone in all aspects of life; getting to work to shop, to get to medical appointments, to get to worship.”

$7 million of that $9 million dollars will purchase propane school buses to replace current 1988 models in use in 4 different counties.

“When I took office in 2015 I realized very quickly that our school bus fleet was one of the worst in the nation. And we took that to heart to be a top priority to change that,” added Molly Spearman, the state superintendent of education.

The SC Department of Education hopes to have the new school buses on the streets by the second semester of school.

Those 4 counties or districts that are getting the new buses are Lexington School District 1, Richland School District 2, Beaufort County, and Horry County.

SCDOI will also execute a similar application process to determine how to spend the remaining $24 million.

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