Bear Valley Unified in Big Bear Lake yesterday welcomed local dignitaries and district officials to a ceremony at the site of the district’s new compressed natural gas fueling station, which also will eventually help serve neighboring school districts.
Bear Valley Unified’s Transportation Supervisor Gail Hastain said the district plans to have the station, located in the district’s transportation facility, completed in mid-October.
“We do live in an isolated area, so it will eventually help serve other districts,” she added.
Big Bear Lake is in San Bernardino County east of Los Angeles. The city is located along the south shore of Big Bear Lake and is surrounded by the San Bernardino National Forest. The district provides home-to-school transportation to about 1,400 students a day. This makes up about 60 percent of the total student population district wide, Hastain said.
Presently, five of the district’s 21 yellow buses are new CNG buses Hastain was able to purchase through grants by the South Coast Air Quality Management District. Fourteen buses are diesel, but Hastain said she expects to convert them to CNG using future grant funds. The remainder of buses run on gasoline.
Hastain obtained grant funds from the California Energy Commission and the Mobile Source Air Pollution Reduction Review Committee (MSRC) to build the CNG fueling station.
“I’m always searching the Internet and talking with people to find money,” Hastain said. “To be able to move ahead with CNG, we need help from the state agencies.”